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Board # 155 : Building Life Cycle Assessment Skills with GREET and SimaPro to Engage Students in Analyzing the Sustainability of Biofuel Alternatives

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Environmental Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

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Paper Authors


Bradley A. Striebig James Madison University

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Dr. Striebig is a founding faculty member and first full professor in the Department of Engineering at James Madison University. Dr. Striebig came to the JMU School of from Gonzaga University where he developed the WATER program in cooperation with other faculty members. Dr. Striebig is also the former Head of the Environmental Technology Group at Penn State’s Applied Research Laboratory. In addition to Dr’ Striebig’s engineering work, he is also a published freelance photographer who has works with local and international NGOs. Dr. Striebig was the founding editor of the Journal of Engineering for Sustainable Development and an assistant editor for the Journal of Green Building.

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Building Life Cycle Assessment skills with GREET and SimaPro to engage students in analyzing the sustainability of biofuel alternatives

Abstract Engineering students take two Sustainable Engineering courses focused on understanding of the environmental, social, and economic impacts of design and technology by exploring the relationships between industrial and ecological systems. This paper focuses on the second part of the two course sustainability sequence that is a problem-based course based on quantifiable life cycle analysis using multi-parameter sustainability tools, including footprint analysis, GREET LCA software and Sima Pro LCA software.

This paper discusses the implementation of a semester-long deep-learning project designed for students to engage with and compare GREET and SimaPro LCA platforms for analyzing the environmental impacts associated with biofuel production from ethanol and miscanthus.

The Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions and Energy in Transportation (GREET) model has become the standard in performing life cycle analyses of transportation fuels. The GREET model focuses on energy options and is idea for introducing students to the goal and scope, system boundaries, pathways and process analysis required for Life Cycle Assessment. The GREET output provides a greenhouse gas indicators and other pollutants, but does not cover the comprehensive environment and health impacts that are associated with other LCA packages and databases.

SimaPro is the world's leading life cycle assessment (LCA) software employed by businesses, consultants and research institutes in more than 80 countries. SimaPro is a comprehensive LCA package that utilizes the EcoInvent database. This software was introduced to students in their second deep-learning exercise and allowed students to develop a SimaPro based LCA and evaluate and interpret the multiparameter outputs from the LCA.

This paper will include the deep-learning assessments assigned to the students, examples of student work, a summary of student perceptions of the course and placed-based project and a mixed-methods assessment of the course.

Striebig, B. A. (2017, June), Board # 155 : Building Life Cycle Assessment Skills with GREET and SimaPro to Engage Students in Analyzing the Sustainability of Biofuel Alternatives Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27784

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