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.
Keywords: Allocation, boundary identification, LCA, LCA integration, life cycle impact assessment, life cycle inventory compiling,
life cycle sustainability assessment.
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