MO.2.D || Carbon Inventory and Management of Bio-Based Materials for a Post-Fossil Bioeconomy

Sander-Titgemeyer, Anna; Weber-Blaschke, Gabriele

The increasing share of hardwood in German forests has led to the debate, how hardwood, mostly with less volume and worse quality, can be used more efficiently than only for energy production. As a result, innovative hardwood products such as building materials, textiles or bulk chemicals are currently being developed. The ecological impact of these innovative products has to be assessed to identify optimization potentials and utilization strategies. The assessment of potential environmental impacts of products under development is consequently a forecast into a future point in time. The use of scenarios in prospective life cycle assessment (LCA) to estimate the change of the future conditions has only been applied in studies on established wooden products. Additionally, the methods to scale-up data in prospective LCAs on wood should be suitable for long-term applications as the time frame in the forest-wood-production-chain is around one hundred years in the case of beech wood, depending on the type of assortment and product. The environmental impact of carbon fibers, glue-laminated timber for construction and the bulk chemical mono-ethylene-glycol from hardwood will be presented using prospective LCA including suitable scale-up methods as well as the changes of the respective background data. The selected hardwood products have currently different levels of technological readiness, which will be considered in the analysis. Scenarios are used to evaluate the product when established in the future market. The scenarios also represent a range of possible futures reflecting the change of circumstances as one of several methods to consider uncertainties. Uncertainties are handled to create results as a basis for recommendations of action.