The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and National Agricultural Library (NAL), with assistance from the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), have released a new version of the U.S. Life Cycle Inventory Database (USLCI). This latest version contains improvements to the database’s usability and the addition of several new datasets. Usability-based updates include a classification scheme more consistent with the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 2012, a consistent nomenclature for technosphere flows and processes, and the resolution of duplicated elements in the database.
The USLCI now includes two complete product systems from NETL’s Unit Process Library:
1. Underground coal extraction and transport
2. Surface coal extraction and transport
These product systems are geographically specific to the contiguous United States and this is the first time they have been published in an interoperable format (i.e., the data is contained in a single database and the exchanges automatically connect). Altogether the product systems include a total of 45 unit processes, many of which are parameterized and all containing robust metadata.
These changes improve the user experience by facilitating data discovery, increasing modeling options, and streamlining the process of building product systems using the USLCI, all while adding high quality datasets representing North American production