Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a scientific assessment method to promote recourse saving and environmental protecting behavior. LCA has been applied extensively to investigate issues related to shortage of resources and environmental degradation. In order to specify the development and benefits of LCA in current and future industrial environment, this paper provides a systematic review by addressing recent patents using LCA to assess environmental impacts and scholarly articles on the issues of boundary identification, allocation problem, databases, approaches for compiling life cycle inventory, and life cycle impact assessment. With regard to the perspective section, key challenges in LCA scope expansion are explored: from environmental to social and economic issues and its integration with 3D design software. Then, the current limitations and weaknesses of LCA are discussed at the end of the paper.
- Boundary identification
- LCA integration
- Life cycle impact assessment
- Life cycle inventory compiling
- Life cycle sustainability assessment