Focus on...

Issues and Foresight
Environmental studies 23 September 2019

LCA Study of Vehicles Running on NGV and bioNGV

IFPEN has just conducted a study on behalf of the AFG (French Gas Association) and the AFGNV (French NGV Association) in order to compare the impact on global warming of vehicles running on NGV (natural gas for vehicles) and bioNGV to that of diesel, gasoline and electric vehicles using the LCA methodology.

Life cycle assessment (LCA)
News in brief

Infographics : Life cycle assessment (LCA)

Life Cycle Assesment (LCA) : An essential tool for measuring the overall environmental impact of our products
Climate, environment and circular economy
Innovation and Industry

Climate, environment and circular economy

New R&I themes, stimulated by the energy transition and circular economy markets, are beginning to emerge. The multidisciplinarity of IFPEN’s researchers is used in projects covering fields as diverse as CO2 capture/storage and plastics recycling, addressing the problems of industry.


Life cycle analysis (LCA)
Innovation and Industry

Our strengths

Life cycle analysis (LCA)
Our strengths

  • A dedicated team of three Life Cycle Analysis engineers/PhD graduates with expertise covering the entire energy and transport value chain, supported by a team of young researchers working in partnership with specialist LCA laboratories (Elsa Montpellier, CIRAIG Canada, etc.):

Anne Bouter


Anne Bouter : bioenergies, biomass resources, land use change, mobility



Pierre Collet


Pierre Collet : bioenergies, variability, land use change, climate change



Sandra Beauchet


Sandra Beauchet : bioenergies, water impact, biobased materials, land use changes



  • Close ties with R&D teams making it possible to integrate LCA expertise upstream of projects.
  • Very close links with teams responsible for prospective research and TIMES software for systemic LCAs.
Life cycle analysis (LCA)
Innovation and Industry

Our networks

Life cycle analysis (LCA)
Our networks


Logo Scorelca« We are partners of the SCORELCA network, a cooperative LCA and environmental quantification research structure created on the initiative of some leading French companies (EDF, Engie, Renault, Saint-Gobain, TotalEnergies and Veolia), with the support of ADEME. Its objectives are to :

  • define LCA research programs,
  • facilitate exchange between the various players involved in the use of LCA with a view to establishing best practices in the field,
  • contribute to European and international scientific dialog for the purposes of technological intelligence concerning LCA.

In particular, we have built a state of the art in the field of prospective energy and resource analyses, and developed a methodology to guide LCA practitioners wishing to carry out a prospective LCA. We have also drawn up a state of the art concerning the incorporation of the spatial dimension in LCA and proposed practical recommendations concerning its integration in different studies. »

Anne Bouter, LCA engineer, IFPEN


EcoSD (Eco-design of systems for Sustainable Development)

Logo EcoSD« We are a member of the EcoSD network, led by companies and universities and supported by the public authorities, created to encourage collaboration between researchers and industrial players in the field of the eco-design of systems for sustainable development. Research on LCA methods and tools is one of the priorities and gives rise to collaborative research projects and doctoral theses. We have already contributed to several studies led by the network, notably relating to :

  • the environmental assessment of different mobility services,
  • the assessment of the criticality of resources in LCA.
Photo groupe

Also, in March 2017, alongside Irstea (French National Research Institute of Science and Technology for the Environment and Agriculture), INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research) and the école des Métiers de l’Environnement engineering school, we organized a seminar dedicated to spatialization in life cycle analysis. The event brought together around one hundred academic, industrial and institutional sector representatives. »

Sandra Beauchet, LCA engineer, IFPEN


H2020 PHOTOFUEL Project

« The aim of the PHOTOFUEL project is to develop biocatalytic fuel production technologies. We are responsible for evaluating:

  • the impact of these technologies on fuel composition,
  • their behavior on engine performance. »

Anne Bouter and Cyprien Ternel, LCA engineers, IFPEN

European SCelecTRA (Scenarios for the electrification of Transport)

Scelectra - logo«We coordinated the SCelecTRA project as part of the ERANET- Electromobility program, the objectives of which were to:

  • identify public policies promoting the development of European electric mobility out to the year 203,
  • evaluate their environmental impacts and external costs.
Projet Scelectra

The main conclusions of the project relate to the following areas:

  • electric vehicle penetration scenarios for the European market by 2030: more than sixty or so scenarios were generated using a Times economic optimization model. The most optimistic scenario reveals that the share of electric vehicles in the European car market could be as high as 30%,
  • the environmental benefits of electric vehicles: the report emphasizes the importance of the battery production component in the overall environmental assessment of electric vehicles,
  • the study of public policy instruments revealed that scrappage schemes and electric vehicle purchase incentive programs are more effective than measures relating to fuel taxes,
  • the development of a network of recharging terminals is a decisive factor in the development of the electric vehicle market,
  • the additional demand for electricity will be covered by new capacity rather than lower consumption in other sectors.»

    Benoît Chèze, IFPEN


Life cycle analysis (LCA)
Innovation and Industry

Our solutions

Life cycle analysis (LCA)
Our solutions

From attributional LCA to consequential LCA

«Our economic engineers work on methods enabling us to assess the performance of the energy and transport sectors. Areas tackled recently include the analysis of the environmental challenges of mobility, biofuels and biobased products, as well as energy storage solutions. The quality of our studies stems from the systemic approach employed:

  • an attributional LCA refers to an environmental assessment conducted at a given point in time “t”: it incorporates a description of physical flows but it does not make it possible, when used alone, to predict the impact on a sector of the creation of a new industrial process;
  • we therefore propose combining these traditional LCAs with economic and energy scenarios, capable of quantifying the environmental consequences of political and industrial decisions on a large scale. This new approach, known as consequential LCA, takes into account one or more economic sectors, the energy and transport sectors, or the entire economy. It is based on energy system scenario models. For example, we used it to study the impact of the emergence of BtL (Biomass to Liquid) biofuel production technology in France by 2030 (in French). »

    Jérôme Sabathier, head Economics & Environmental Evaluation department, IFPEN


A strong link with forecasting tool

«We have already published several studies and analyses concerning prospective LCAs. These include :

Anne Bouter and Daphné Lorne, IFPEN engineers


Available analyses and studies

Economic, energy and environmental study for French road transport technologies(E4T)

Etude E4T

«In July 2018, we published a final report concerning the study conducted in partnership with the ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency), giving a cross-functional assessment of the impact of electrification by segment in France. This document offers an analysis of the major trends concerning electrification technologies currently being introduced or developed.

Globally, this summary report highlights the fact that :

  • with the exception of the long-haul heavy truck segment, the conventional powertrain (gasoline or diesel) will be facing stiff competition in 2030, be it from the point of view of total cost of ownership (TCO) or its environmental impact (Greenhouse Gas [GG] and pollutant emissions). These powertrains will thus be in considerably less widespread use by 2030,
  • 48V Mild Hybrid (MHEV 48V) architecture, pushed to maximum performance, may be a promising solution to compete with current power-split Full Hybrid (HEV) solutions,
  • plug-in electric vehicles (PHEV) seem to be the most appropriate solutions from the point of view of the impact on GG emissions, thanks to their reduced-sized battery, perfectly suited to most vehicle use. However, in the absence of help-to-buy initiatives, their economic profitability remains a barrier to their roll-out,
  • electric vehicles (BEV) are effective solutions for reducing local pollution and GG emissions, especially if they are widely used (buses for example) so as to absorb the impact of manufacturing the battery. Nevertheless, the economic profitability of these solutions remains limited currently (although they are supported by help-to-buy initiatives) but should improve by 2030 thanks to the probable reduction in the cost of the batteries,
  • the current trend towards bigger battery sizes in order to increase the range of electric vehicles has a detrimental impact on GG emissions generated by the electric vehicle sector. Further research is likely to be conducted in this area in the future.»

    Cyprien Ternel and Anne Bouter, LCA engineers, and Fabrice Le Berr, head of the Electric Systems department, IFPEN


Couverture rapport E4T

Report for downloading: 
E4T Project - Cross-functional assessment of the impact of electrification by segment - April 2018 

> ADEME-IFPEN press release of 5 July 2018 


Techno-economic and Life Cycle Assessment of methane production via biogas upgrading and power-to-gas technology study

«The increasing use of renewable energies, which by their very nature are variable, means that surplus electricity produced during periods of over-production has to be converted into a form that can be stored. Converting electricity into gas is one way to solve this problem, because the method enables the surplus electricity to be stored for later use. The technology behind the solution is power-to-gas, which consists in:

  • using electricity to convert water into hydrogen via electrolysis,
  • synthesizing methane from carbon dioxide and hydrogen.

We conducted a technical and economic and LCA analysis of methane production via a combination of anaerobic digestion and power-to-gas technology applied to the conversion of treatment plant sludge.
Several conclusions emerge from our study :

  • the more expensive electricity is, the longer the operation time of the methanization process must be in order to be competitive with the injection of methane from biogas,
  • reducing the electricity consumption of the electrolysis step reduces production costs,
  • from an environmental point of view, continuous power-to-gas generates more greenhouse gases than direct injection, but intermittent operations with renewable electricity can reduce emissions considerably,
  • the impact of continuous power-to-gas is greater than biogas conversion, but lower than fossil energy,
  • the future development of low electricity consumption associated with the electrolysis process and the integration of renewable credits from CO2 conversion could increase the competitiveness of this technology.»

    Anne Bouter, LCA engineer, IFPEN

>> All our environmental studies

Life cycle analysis (LCA)
Innovation and Industry

Life cycle analysis (LCA)

Life cycle analysis (LCA)

Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is an assessment method aimed at quantifying the environmental impacts of a product or a service, as part of an eco-design approach or with a view to selecting the optimal solution. All the potential impacts on the environment are quantified and the consumption of resources is examined, from extraction of raw materials to treatment of waste (“from cradle to grave”).

It is therefore a global, multi-step and multi-criteria approach, governed by a standard (ISO 14040-44) and recommended by the European Union. LCA developed rapidly from the 1980s and it is now used by:

  • international, European and national public bodies,
  • the scientific community,
  • industrial players.

In practice, it takes a variety of forms to:

  • take into account specific regional and sector-based characteristics,
  • incorporate new criteria, such as:
    • the risk of water shortage,
    • the monetization of environmental impacts,
    • new climate change indicators.

Today, LCA is an invaluable tool for assessing the impacts on the environment of activities linked to new energy systems. It is used to identify :

  • the principal sources of pollution,
  • opportunities to improve the environmental performance of products and services at various stages of their life cycle.


Conduct studies and develop methodologies to support decision-making and guide R&D strategies.


Infographics : LCA

Our solutions

Our networks 

Our strengths 

Issue 29 Science@ifpen
News in brief

Consequential LCA and impacts assessment of legislation on the energy transition

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an environmental impact assessment tool that is generally static, linear and limited to the description of physical flows when the aim is to assess the impacts