The bitumen Life Cycle Inventory

Access to credible, authoritative, current data for each of the four main cradle-to-gate life cycle stages of bitumen - Oil extraction, Transport, Refining and Storage - is very important for anyone wanting to calculate the environmental impact of manufacturing end-products that incorporate bitumen.

The four life cycle changes of bitumen considered are:

The 3rd edition of Eurobitume’s Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) provides these data for the paving grade bitumens most widely used in Europe.

The new Eurobitume LCI incorporates the latest bitumen LCI data and adopts an updated refinery methodology to reflect current thinking. This methodology uses a thermodynamic energy approach, rather than the economic allocation of emissions used in the previous Eurobitume LCI.

It is a transparent process that draws upon the most appropriate data sources, all of which are publicly available and accessible for each of the four life cycle stages. This is unique in the competitive LCI calculator marketplace.

Oil extraction

The new Eurobitume LCI uses a rolling five-year average (2013-2017 inclusive) for the extraction of crude oil, which provides a much more robust figure than the previous edition - which used crude oil extraction data from one specific year, 2008.

The composition of a representative barrel of crude oil used for bitumen production in Europe has also been updated to be representative of current crudes used and includes a mix of crude oils from the Russian Federation, Middle East, Europe and South America.

Transport

The transportation stage uses data provided by a ship manufacturer and emission factors provided by the International Maritime Organisation, IMO.

Refining

For the manufacturing of bitumen in a refinery, the new Eurobitume LCI uses data from CONCAWE, the European Petroleum Refiners Association focused on environmental science.

The Eurobitume LCI use a thermodynamic energy approach, rather than the economic allocation of emissions within a refinery methodology used previously.

Storage

Storage of bitumen within the refinery is also included in the LCI.

Flexibility of use

The source data used to compile this report are available in an Excel spreadsheet that is compatible with commercially available LCI software, making it easy for LCI practitioners to incorporate the data as part of a construction product life cycle assessment.

The LCI database is available in two versions: With Infrastructure and Without Infrastructure, which can be requested by sending an email to viviane.dupont(at)eurobitume.eu.

As before, the Eurobitume LCI report can be downloaded from the Eurobitume website here.

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