Developing Guidance for Life Cycle Analysis of Biomass Carbon Removal and Storage (BiCRS)

Biomass carbon removal and storage (BiCRS) encompasses a wide range of strategies to source sustainably produced biomass via natural photosynthesis, process the biomass into durable products, and manage the embedded or transformed biogenic carbon for carbon dioxide removal (CDR) via long-term storage. BiCRS processes have the potential to contribute to climate change mitigation. Emerging BiCRS technologies seek a variety of approaches to sequestering biogenic carbon as the primary goal, and target co-benefits such as waste utilization, fire prevention, and air pollution reduction to enhance the sustainability of BiCRS technologies. In the meantime, a holistic life cycle assessment (LCA) of the net carbon removal and other sustainability performances of BiCRS processes is required to determine the net carbon removal of a BiCRS approach and address concerns about its effectiveness. LCA also plays a critical role in identifying opportunities for enhancing the CDR performance and promoting technology scale up.

Besides the ISO standards and several LCA methodologies and protocols in place that provide overall and somewhat specific technical approaches necessary to addressing the carbon removal performance of BiCRS technologies, a specific LCA guidance document that lays out best practices to address critical LCA issues, such as biogenic carbon accounting, durability, avoided emissions, co-products and co-benefits, additionality, among others, needs to be developed to quantify the net carbon removal performance and other environmental impacts of BiCRS technologies, address sensitivity and uncertainties, and develop consensus of LCA approaches to enhance comparability among BiCRS technologies.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) Office and Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), together with Argonne National Laboratory and National Renewable Energy Laboratory have started to develop LCA Best Practices focusing on BiCRS systems. Through this effort, we aim to foster consistency of LCA of BiCRS systems to enable more complete understanding of potential impacts of BiCRS.

During this 3-hour webinar, the DOE and lab team will provide an overview of the project and an update on the progress of developing the BiCRS LCA Best Practices Guidance. We will have invited presentations on the latest science and R&D of emerging BiCRS technologies, LCA related questions and practices, and the role of LCA to address challenges and identify opportunities for implementation and scale-up of BiCRS technologies. Finally, we will have breakout sessions to interact with the audience.

If you plan to attend the webinar, please register here.