Global Development on LCA Research: A Bibliometric Analysis From 2010 to 2021

Global Development on LCA Research: A Bibliometric Analysis From 2010 to 2021

Gaurav Gaurav, Alok Bihari Singh, Chandni Khandelwal, Sumit Gupta, Sundeep Kumar, M. L. Meena, G. S. Dangayach
DOI: 10.4018/IJSESD.327791
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Research on life cycle assessment (LCA) has been conducted over three decades. According to ISO 14040, LCA is an international standard that provides a methodology for assessing the environmental impact of products and processes. In the context of this study, research papers relevant to LCA are evaluated to conduct a bibliometric analysis of the LCA study from 2010 to 2021. The scope of this inquiry is confined to the Web of Science database of scientific papers. This analysis considers the authors' identification, type of articles, discipline, journal, citation, and bibliometric analysis components. Statistics of the most productive authors, institutions, and countries are also presented. The United States is the leading country in this field of LCA study. In addition, the word cloud and word dynamics are also evaluated. The bibliometric information is represented graphically in the bibliographic connection and co-citation network. This study will aid scholars in gaining systematic knowledge and comprehension of LCA research and its consequences.
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The effects of global warming and other environmental problems have become more widely recognized in recent years. In order to handle these problems, businesses, consumers, governmental organizations, and legislators must take environmental factors into account while making a variety of decisions. (Nilsson and Eckerberg, 2007). A life cycle assessment is a technique for identifying the appropriate environmental consequences and resources consumed throughout a product's life, i.e., from procurement of raw materials to manufacturing and consumption, and finally, to waste management. The waste management step comprises both disposal and recycling. The term “product” refers to both products and services. LCA is a thorough assessment that considers all environment ecosystems, public health, and resources (ISO 14040, 2006). In LCA, the main thing that makes it different is that it looks at products from their whole lives. LCA's broader context is helpful for minimizing issues, such as from one stage of the life cycle to another, from one territory to another, or from one environmental problem to another. During the 1990s, interest in LCA surged, primarily when the first research papers were published. It was widely anticipated when LCA was first introduced, but its findings were also widely questioned. Since then, there has been significant development and standardization, emerging in global standards, which is supplemented by a series of recommendations. This has made LCA more mature and more stable in its methods and techniques. However, the approach is currently being refined. In the last few years, life cycle assessment (LCA) has been an excellent way to ensure that the environment isn't harmed during different phases of the process or products and figure out how to make things better (Rasheed et al., 2021). LCA is thought of as holistic, which helps people figure out the environmental effects of a product and helps them figure out how to reduce those effects and look for ways to make things more environmentally friendly (Gaete-Morales et al., 2019).

LCA study is divided into four phases: goal and scope definition, life cycle inventory analysis (LCI), life cycle impact assessment (LCIA), and interpretation. The description of the goal and scope involves explaining why the study is being done, how it will be used, and who it will be for (ISO 14040, 2006). Additionally, this section describes the study's system boundaries and defines the functional unit. The functional unit is a quantifiable assessment of the goods (or service) activities. The LCI produces a collection of the product's inputs (resources) and outputs (emissions) over its life cycle in respect to the functional unit. The LCIA tries to examine and assess the extent and importance of the investigated systems through possible environmental impacts (ISO 14040, 2006). In the Interpretation phase, the outcomes from the preceding phases are reviewed in connection to the purpose and scope to gather information and suggestions (ISO 14040, 2006). In the current literature, several researchers presented LCA studies in their core areas like captive power plants (Dangayach et al., 2022); residential buildings (Sakhlecha et al., 2021); bar soap production (Gaurav et al., 2023); wastewater treatment plants (Mishra et al., 2021) and marble processing plant (Prajwal et al., 2019).

Presently, the literature on life cycle assessment (LCA) appears to be developing at a pace that can be seen with the naked eye. Numerous academics have expressed an interest in the advancement of this scientific topic. Because of their depth of knowledge, conventional systematic literature reviews are frequently used in peer-reviewed literature. However, literary studies often need a reviewer to have a high level of understanding. The digitization of scholarly journals has speed up the paper production process, culminating in a traditional organized literature analytical approach that can no longer deal with hundreds or even thousands of articles. Furthermore, certain crucial studies may be missed due to manual screening (Wang et al., 2020). As a result, methods for providing a high-level and comprehensive evaluation of the current status of research in LCA and its consequences must be developed.

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