US-EI Database

The US-EI is an amalgamated life cycle inventory (LCI) dataset of EarthShift developed data, expanded US LCI data and modified ecoinvent 2.2 representative of the North American region. The data consists of a wide range of materials and processes inclusive of new US natural gas from hydraulic fracturing, updated (2010 actuals) US natural gas mix, geothermal electricity generation, new waste treatment processes for white goods and electronics and Chinese based pulp and paper data. The database is developed and maintained by EarthShift with updates approximately every 6 months.  

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US-EI Material datasets 

Agriculture Electronics Plastics Wood
Ceramics Metals Minerals
Chemicals Fuels Paper & Board  
Construction  Glass Water  

 

 US-EI Processes datasets 

Agriculture Glass Power plants
Card board Metals Ventilation
Compressed air Painting Water use  
Electronics Plastics Wood  

 

New US natural gas data

New processes were created for US natural gas from hydraulic fracturing and a new US natural gas mix created based on 2010 actuals. A geothermal electricity process was also created.  The US electricity mix was updated to 2010 using these new processes. This US electricity process was used in the above substitution.

The following processes reroute to the new US natural gas mix:

Natural gas, at long-distance pipeline /RER* US-EI U
Natural gas, at long-distance pipeline/CH* US-EI U
(these processes have been renamed to /US- and /US* respectively)

Dry material disposal processes added 

Waste treatment processes have been added that no longer include the water content in the mass. This allows these processes to be applied directly kilogram for kilogram of dry material disposed. Waste scenarios have been modified to use these new processes and updated to the latest data available from the EPA. Waste scenarios have been created for White Goods and Electronics. Additional waste types have been created for electronics components and these are used in the new waste scenario.

No more dummy processes 

The US LCI database has been modified by entering ecoinvent proxy data into many of the dummy processes. These processes have been renamed "Proxy" and moved to a proxy folder. This version of the US-EI library contains all of the newer US LCI datasets already in SimaPro and a few of the newer ones that have yet to be included. A more detailed description of this database and its terms follows.

Detailed decription and other revisions

Specifically, for the US LCI Database 146 of the 186 dummy processes were replaced with ecoinvent proxies using U.S. electricity (Dummy USLCI Process Replaced with Proxy.xlsx). Some of the dummy processes were not replaced if they were not available in the ecoinvent dataset, or if they were intentionally empty because they followed the cut-off approach. For the ecoinvent dataset, all processes using electricity from Switzerland or one of the European regions (RER, UCTE, CENTREL or NORDEL) were indirectly adapted to instead use U.S. electricity. This was done by rerouting electricity production/ distribution to US electricity production/ distribution in the following processes:

Electricity, medium voltage, production UCTE, at grid/UCTE U
Electricity, low voltage, at grid/CH U
Electricity, low voltage, production UCTE, at grid/UCTE U
Electricity, medium voltage, at grid/CH U
Electricity, medium voltage, production NORDEL, at grid/NORDEL U
Electricity, high voltage, production UCTE, at grid/UCTE U
Electricity, production mix UCTE/UCTE U
Electricity, low voltage, production RER, at grid/RER U
Electricity, medium voltage, production CENTREL, at grid/CENTREL U
Electricity, low voltage, production CH, at grid/CH U
Electricity, medium voltage, production CH, at grid/CH U
Electricity, medium voltage, at grid/DE U

Process names were changed to show the US nature of the new processes:

/CH changed to /US*
/RER changed to /US-
/DE changed to /US**

Available US processes were also substituted for non-US processes in the ecoinvent datasets:

Fluosilicic acid, 22% in H2O, at plant/RER U            Fluosilicic acid, 22% in H2O, at plant/US U
Soya oil/RER                                                                    Soybean oil, at oil mill/US U
Grain maize IP, at farm/CH U                                       Corn at farm/US U
Potatoes IP, at farm/CH U                                             Potatoes, at farm/US U
Rape seed IP, at farm/CH U                                         Rape seed, at farm/US U
Rape seed extensive, at farm/CH U                            Rape seed, at farm/US U
Soy beans IP, at farm/CH U                                          Soybeans, at farm/US U
Wheat grains IP, at farm/CH U                                     Wheat grains, at farm/US U

No other work was done to adapt the ecoinvent library, and because of geographic differences other than those modified, there is no guarantee that the resulting inventory is closer to the US reality than the original ecoinvent dataset. For additional information on the original process, see the Ecoinvent System Description below.

Most materials with non-mass units have been duplicated with mass units. This allows them to be used easily in Product Stages.

A few simple processes have been added to the library, including processes for water use, detergents, and washing.