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Framework for systematic and integrated techno-economic and life-cycle assessments to support informed decision-making for sustainable development.

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Our ambition is to create a framework to perform streamlined Techno-Economic Assessments (TEA) and Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) that support decision-making for sustainable development. The framework can be customized to guide businesses in making strategic decisions from product composition, raw material supply and optimal value chains, to the more operational decisions related to logistics and production planning. The framework unifies economic and environmental indicators under common assumptions, offering decision makers a holistic understanding and enabling consistent trade-off exploration across various value chains and market scenarios.

SustainableTech emerged next to the coffee machine when a chance encounter and an expressed desire from two colleagues from different teams and disciplines to learn more about each other's domain. Both TEA and LCA are in high demand and are often performed on the same project but separately, sometimes with differing assumptions and scopes. SustainableTech provides the opportunity to align how we perform these assessments and to combine them into an integrated framework.

As the market focuses on reducing environmental impact, companies must adapt their strategies and models to participate effectively. SINTEF Industry invested in SustainableTech, recognizing market demand. The framework uses mathematical modeling for value chain characterization and optimization techniques to identify solutions. It calculates environmental impacts and CO2 footprints using established databases.

SustainableTech employs a methodology where the customer defines the problem scope. TEA and LCA experts agree on system boundaries, technology requirements, costs, and materials. Outputs from LCA, Techno-economics, and Value Chain Representation are integrated in the SustainableTech Optimization Framework, allowing multiple objectives to be considered. Users set their priorities, and variances enable optimization with controlled deviations for different objectives. Often multiple objectives are competing targets (i.e., minimizing cost in $ and impact in CO2-equivalents) which require weighting and/or monetization of environmental impacts. SustainableTech allows the identification and exploration of tradeoffs of conflicting goals by establishing priorities and tolerances for deviations from the optimal solutions, providing the customer with a decision-making tool that can identify trade-offs between different impact categories and economics.

SustainableTech is a strategic project (SEP) of SINTEF Industry with the following collaborators:

  • Sustainable Energy Technology (BET): LCA-TEA integrated methodology.
  • Process technology (PT): Cost estimations and case studies.

Key Factors

Project duration

01/03/2022 - 01/09/2023