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Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Life Cycle Assessment

Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and NPTEL via Swayam


This course will introduce students to the fundamental concepts related to interaction of industrial and environmental/ecological systems, sustainability challenges facing the current generation, and systems-based approaches required to create sustainable solutions for society. Students will understand the concepts and the scientific method as it applies to a systems-based, trans-disciplinary  approach to sustainability, and will be prepared to identify problems in sustainability and formulate appropriate solutions based on scientific research, applied science, social and economic issues. The basic concepts of life cycle assessment (LCA) will be discussed, along with life cycle inventory (LCI) and life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) including the social and economic dimensions. The application of life cycle assessment methodology using appropriate case studies will be presented.

Environmental Sciences

Introduction to Environmental Engineering


Week 1: An Introduction to Sustainability (Introduction, The magnitude of sustainability challenge, Energy, Material use, Environmental emissions, Economic and Social dimensions)

Week 2:Risk and Life Cycle Framework for Sustainability (Introduction, Risk, Life Cycle Frameworks, Life Cycle Assessment Tools)

Week 3: Life Cycle Analysis (Goal Definition, Life Cycle Inventory, Life Cycle Impact Assessment, Life Cycle Interpretation, LCA Software tools)

Week 4:Review of Environmental Laws and Regulations (Introduction, Environmental Law and Sustainability, International Programs and Protocols relevant to this course, Voluntary Programs from end of pipe to Pollution Prevention and Sustainability, Pollution Prevention Concepts and Terminology)

Week 5: Green, Sustainable Materials (Introduction, Environmental and Natural Resource Use Footprints of Material Extraction and Refining, Tracking Material Flows in Engineered Systems, Environmental Releases)

Week 6:Design for Sustainability: Economic, Environmental Indicators (Introduction, Sustainable Engineering Design Principles, Economic Performance Indicators, Environmental Performance Indicators (LCA)

Week 7: Design for Sustainability: Social Indicators (Social Performance Indicators)

Week 8: Case Studies (e.g., Biofuels for Transportation, Transportation Logistics and Supply Chain, Sustainable Built Environment etc.


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