Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

May 14, 2017

Thoughts on Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) data conversion

Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) data conversion is a problematic task in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). LCI data are available in various structure and file formats in LCA software packages. Import and export of LCI will not be a successful task with most of the cases. When importing to an LCA software, a mapping file is needed in addition to the data to be imported. Otherwise, the process might be performed manually (manual insertion of flows, quantities, etc.). The several LCI data providers make their data available in MS-Excel file format which is very helpful for manual calculations with MS-Excel, but it is hard to import MS-Excel based data to LCA software packages. If the LCI data is prepared in ecoSpold (. XML) or ILCD file format, then the import processes would be much easier. However, if the LCI data are few, then it might be a much simpler and time-saving method if the data are inserted manually to the LCA software. If the LCI data contain large inventories, then the task would be complicated if no mapping files of the data are available to the end-user. Hence far, I found that the best path to import LCI data or to perform conversion from one file format to another is by using the format converter tool offered by OpenLCA ( This handy tool can convert the LCI data file format from one format to another including ecoSpold 1 and 2; ILCD; and CSV. Another way is by using the OpenLCA software itself, which offers data conversion from and to those file formats in addition to MS-Excel (. xlsx). The user can import the data first to OpenLCA and then export it to the desired file format. Once imported, the user can also explore the imported data in the OpenLCA environment and […]