Ex-ante life cycle assessment and scale up: A protein production case study

Hubert Röder, Karthik Kumar, Stefan Füchsl, Volker Sieber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a well-known tool that has been able to provide insights into the environmental impact and hotspots of systems and technologies that are established in the market. Nevertheless, both for emerging processes that are only available at laboratory or pilot scale and when more future oriented in its perspective, the application of LCA becomes more complex and difficult. There is as of yet no consensus in the literature on how to conduct ex-ante LCA and many challenges discussed in the literature have yet to be cleared. This paper aims to highlight the implementation of ex-ante LCA with a specific focus on upscaling processes from laboratory to industrial scale. A new production process of proteins obtained from rapeseed cake serves as a case study to illustrate both the challenges encountered as well as the value and necessity of future oriented LCA, LCC and scaleup. The challenges found in this work include data availability, unknown final uses and functions, complexity of upscaling, and uncertainty. The results show a strong difference between laboratory scale and industrial scale costs and impacts, which are when upscaled lower compared to the impact of other protein sources, thus uncovering the environmental benefits of protein obtained from rapeseed cake.

Original languageEnglish
Article number134329
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
StatePublished - 20 Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Case study
  • Ex-ante LCA
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Proteins
  • Scale-up


Dive into the research topics of 'Ex-ante life cycle assessment and scale up: A protein production case study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this