Life cycle inventory calculation methodology for steel products

This document specifies guidelines and requirements for conducting life cycle inventory (LCI) studies of steel products reflecting steel's capacity for closed-loop recycling, including: a) specification of the functional unit used for LCI calculation of steel products; b) definition of the system boundaries used for LCI calculation of steel products; c) evaluation of scrap in LCI calculation of steel products; d) evaluation of co-products in LCI calculation of steel products; e) reporting of LCI calculation results of steel products. The application of LCI results, including life cycle impact assessment (LCIA), is outside the scope of this document.

Méthodologie de calcul de l’inventaire du cycle de vie des produits en acier

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Published
Publication Date
11-Nov-2018
Current Stage
6060 - International Standard published
Start Date
13-Oct-2018
Completion Date
12-Nov-2018
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INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 20915
First edition
2018-11
Life cycle inventory calculation
methodology for steel products
Méthodologie de calcul de l’inventaire du cycle de vie des produits
en acier
Reference number
ISO 20915:2018(E)
ISO 2018
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ISO 20915:2018(E)
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© ISO 2018

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ii © ISO 2018 – All rights reserved
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ISO 20915:2018(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

Introduction ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................vi

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 Terms and definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

4 Basic conditions for LCI of steel products .................................................................................................................................. 3

4.1 General requirements ....................................................................................................................................................................... 3

4.2 Function and functional unit ....................................................................................................................................................... 3

4.3 System boundary .................................................................................................................................................................................. 4

4.4 Data quality ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 5

4.4.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................... 5

4.4.2 Time-related coverage ................................................................................................................................................ 5

4.4.3 Geographical coverage ................................................................................................................................................ 5

4.4.4 Technology coverage .................................................................................................................................................... 5

4.4.5 Sources of the data ......................................................................................................................................................... 5

4.4.6 Cut-off criteria .................................................................................................................................................................... 5

5 Methodological procedure for LCI calculation of steel products with provision for

scrap recycling ........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 6

5.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 6

5.2 Calculation of cradle to gate LCI without allocation for scrap input ........................................................ 7

5.3 Allocation for scrap recycling ..................................................................................................................................................... 8

5.3.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................... 8

5.3.2 LCI calculation methodology for scrap ......................................................................................................... 8

5.3.3 Calculation of the burden for scrap input to produce the specific steel

product under study ..................................................................................................................................................... 8

5.3.4 Calculation of the credits for scrap recovery ........................................................................................... 9

5.4 Collecting data ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 9

5.4.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................... 9

5.4.2 Co-products .......................................................................................................................................................................... 9

5.4.3 Ferrous raw materials ..............................................................................................................................................10

5.4.4 Process coal .......................................................................................................................................................................11

5.4.5 Non-ferrous raw materials ...................................................................................................................................11

5.4.6 Ferro alloy ...........................................................................................................................................................................11

5.4.7 Other input materials ...............................................................................................................................................11

5.4.8 Fuels .........................................................................................................................................................................................11

5.4.9 Process gases ...................................................................................................................................................................11

5.4.10 Electricity ............................................................................................................................................................................12

5.4.11 Steam ......................................................................................................................................................................................12

5.4.12 Sea water .............................................................................................................................................................................12

5.4.13 Fresh water ........................................................................................................................................................................12

5.4.14 Industrial gases ..............................................................................................................................................................12

5.4.15 Emissions to air, water and soil ........................................................................................................................12

5.4.16 Flares .......................................................................................................................................................................................12

5.4.17 Transportation ................................................................................................................................................................13

5.5 Allocation procedure for co-products ..............................................................................................................................13

5.5.1 General requirement .................................................................................................................................................13

5.5.2 System expansion .........................................................................................................................................................13

6 Reporting ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................13

7 Critical review ......................................................................................................................................................................................................14

Annex A (informative) An example for calculating X ...................................................................................................................15

Annex B (informative) Example of LCI result reporting ................................................................................................................17

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ISO 20915:2018(E)

Annex C (informative) Example uses of co-products outside of the system boundary .................................23

Annex D (informative) Comparison among standards ...................................................................................................................24

Annex E (informative) Details for calculating the recycling rate .........................................................................................25

Annex F (informative) LCI calculations for electricity and steam .......................................................................................27

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................29

iv © ISO 2018 – All rights reserved
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ISO 20915:2018(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards

bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out

through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical

committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.

ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of

electrotechnical standardization.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular, the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www .iso .org/directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of

any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or

on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www .iso .org/patents).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation of the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and

expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO's adherence to the

World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) see www .iso

.org/iso/foreword .html.
This document was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 17, Steel.

Any feedback or questions on this document should be directed to the user’s national standards body. A

complete listing of these bodies can be found at www .iso .org/members .html.
© ISO 2018 – All rights reserved v
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ISO 20915:2018(E)
Introduction

The life cycle inventory (LCI) of steel products is an important component in the support of life cycle

assessments for a wide range of products and applications that contain steel or where steel is used to

support the manufacture, production or delivery of products.

This document describes the methodology for the calculation of the steel life cycle inventories that can

be applied to a wide range of steel products, and represents the main process routes for global steel

production. This includes the extraction of raw materials from the earth through to the production

of steel products at the factory gate, as well as provision for scrap recycling of steel products and

the treatment of steel scrap. The methodology conforms to the principles and framework set out in

ISO 14040:2006 and ISO 14044:2006 and demonstrates how these principles can be applied to steel

product manufacture and steel recycling.

As illustrated in Figure 1, the life cycle of steel products consists of the following stages:

— sourcing of natural resources (which includes mining, transportation and intermediate processing

of raw materials) and ferrous scrap (recovered from both the manufacturing process and the end of

life of final products);
— production of steel products at the steelworks;

— manufacturing of final products by downstream users, for example, by customers of the steel

industry, such as automotive, construction and engineering industries;

— use of final products, where the environmental performance of the final product depends on the

steel products being used; for example, the fuel (or energy) consumption of an automobile depends

partly upon the weight of its steel components;
— recovery of material from the end of life of final products;

— recycling of ferrous scrap from both the manufacturing process and the end of life of final products

to substitute the use of raw materials from the earth.

The schematic diagram of the full life cycle of steel is shown in Figure 1. This document covers life

cycle stages including sourcing of raw materials from the earth and ferrous scrap, production of steel

products at the steelworks, and recycling of ferrous scrap. It does not cover the manufacturing of final

products and the use of final products.

All global steel production is sourced from different ratios of ferrous scrap and primary ores. Therefore,

an understanding of the value of steel recycling becomes a necessary part of the steel product LCI.

It is generally understood that the recycling of materials makes a positive contribution towards

reducing resource consumption and energy requirements, and helps to avoid the potential impacts of

raw materials extraction and processing. However, all recycling routes (including the processing and

transport of recycled materials) carry environmental burdens and these can be quantified as part of a

life cycle assessment.

A critical factor in the understanding of the benefits of materials recycling is the quality of the materials

and products that can be produced from the recycled material. Where the recycled products can be

made to the same inherent properties as those sourced from primary materials, this is described as

closed loop recycling.

With the existing process and scrap quality controls, steel sourced from (scrap based) steel recycling

can be made to the same specification as steels sourced from the (iron ore based) primary routes.

The properties of the different steel grades are achieved through different alloying concepts as well

as process steps, such as heat treatment. Steel metallurgy allows the control of alloying and tramp

elements to achieve closed loop recycling.

Life cycle assessment can be used to quantify the potential benefits of recycling to conform to the

guidance set out in ISO 14040:2006 and ISO 14044:2006.
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ISO 20915:2018(E)
Figure 1 — Schematic diagram of the life cycle of steel
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INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 20915:2018(E)
Life cycle inventory calculation methodology for steel
products
1 Scope

This document specifies guidelines and requirements for conducting life cycle inventory (LCI) studies

of steel products reflecting steel’s capacity for closed-loop recycling, including:

a) specification of the functional unit used for LCI calculation of steel products;

b) definition of the system boundaries used for LCI calculation of steel products;

c) evaluation of scrap in LCI calculation of steel products;
d) evaluation of co-products in LCI calculation of steel products;
e) reporting of LCI calculation results of steel products.

The application of LCI results, including life cycle impact assessment (LCIA), is outside the scope of this

document.
2 Normative references

The following documents are referred to in the text in such a way that some or all of their content

constitutes requirements of this document. For dated references, only the edition cited applies. For

undated references, the latest edition of the referenced document (including any amendments) applies.

ISO 14040:2006, Environmental management — Life cycle assessment — Principles and framework

ISO 14044:2006, Environmental management — Life cycle assessment — Requirements and guidelines

3 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.

ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:

— ISO Online browsing platform: available at https: //www .iso .org/obp
— IEC Electropedia: available at http: //www .electropedia .org/
3.1
steel product
product produced from steel and shipped out from steelworks

EXAMPLE Hot rolled steel, pickled hot rolled steel, cold rolled steel, finished cold rolled steel,

electrogalvanized steel, hot-dip galvanized steel, tin-free steel, tinplated steel, organic coated steel, section,

plate, rebar, engineering steel, wire rod, seamless pipe, UO pipe, welded pipe.
3.2
final product
product that requires no additional transformation prior to its use
EXAMPLE Automobiles, building structures, building envelopes, packaging.
[SOURCE: ISO/TS 18110:2015, 2.2, modified — The example has been added.]
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ISO 20915:2018(E)
3.3
scrap

iron and steel material in metallic form that is recovered in multiple life cycle stages, including steel

production processes, the manufacturing processes of final products (3.2) and the end of life of final

products, and is recycled as a raw material for steel production
3.4
internal scrap

scrap (3.3) from a crude steel making unit process that is then recycled within the same unit process

[e.g. basic oxygen furnace (BOF) or electric arc furnace (EAF)]
3.5
home scrap

scrap (3.3) from a downstream steel production process within the steelworks (e.g. rolling, coating)

that is returned to steel making processes (e.g. BOF or EAF)
3.6
manufacturing scrap

scrap (3.3) from the manufacturing processes of final products (3.2), such as automobiles and buildings

3.7
end of life scrap
scrap (3.3) from after the end of life of final products (3.2)
3.8
external scrap

scrap (3.3) provided from outside of the steelworks, including manufacturing scrap (3.6) and end of life

scrap (3.7)
3.9
recycling rate

ratio of the mass of external scrap (3.8) recycled to the mass of steel products to be shipped out from

the steelworks gate
3.10
end of life recycling rate

ratio of the mass of end of life scrap (3.7) recycled to the mass of steel in final products (3.2)

3.11
manufacturing yield

ratio of the mass of steel contained in final products (3.2) to the total mass of steel products (3.1) used

for manufacturing the final product
3.12
ferrous raw material

raw material from the earth that becomes one of the main constituents of steel products (3.1), and which

may have undergone intermediate processing to prepare it for ironmaking

EXAMPLE Lump ore, iron ore fine, sinter, pellet, hot briquetted iron (HBI), direct reduced iron (DRI).

3.13
process coal
coal used in iron and steel making processes

EXAMPLE Coking coal, injection coal, sintering coal, BOF coal, EAF coal, DRI coal.

3.14
non-ferrous raw material

non-ferrous ingredient material for steel products (3.1) other than ferrous raw material (3.12) or process

coal (3.13)
EXAMPLE Zinc, tin. aluminium.
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ISO 20915:2018(E)
3.15
ferro alloy

alloy of iron with non-iron alloy metals, such as manganese, silicon or chromium used in the

steelmaking process
3.16
other input material

material input and consumables for steel production other than ferrous raw material (3.12), process coal

(3.13), non-ferrous raw material (3.14), ferro alloy (3.15) and scrap (3.3), which does not ultimately form

part of the steel product (3.1)
EXAMPLE Refractory, electrode, chemical materials, limestone, dolomite.
3.17
fuel
energy source for generating heat, steam and power other than process gas (3.20)
EXAMPLE Boiler coal, fuel oils, natural gas, LPG.
3.18
industrial gas
gas for steel production other than fuels (3.17) or reducing agent
EXAMPLE Oxygen, nitrogen, argon, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, compressed air.

Note 1 to entry: Hydrogen can be used as a fuel, or is included here as an industrial gas when used as an

uncombusted industrial gas, e.g. for the provision of reducing atmospheres in production processes.

3.19
co-product
any of two or more products coming from the same unit process or product system
[SOURCE: ISO 14044:2006, 3.10]
3.20
process gas
gas that is produced as part of the processes on the steel production site
EXAMPLE Coke oven gas, blast furnace gas, BOF gas.
3.21
waste

materials disposed of in landfills, both internal and external to steel works, or incinerated

4 Basic conditions for LCI of steel products
4.1 General requirements

The requirements and guidelines set in this document shall be followed in addition to those set by

ISO 14040:2006 and ISO 14044:2006.
4.2 Function and functional unit

The function of steel products is to form a part of final products, such as automobiles, cans and bridges.

For a LCI of steel products, the functional unit should be set as a mass-based unit of steel products to

be shipped out from the steelworks gate. Where applications are based on other functional capacities,

suitable explanation and conversion guidance shall be provided.
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ISO 20915:2018(E)
4.3 System boundary

As shown in Figure 2, the system boundary used for the LCI study of steel products shall include all of

the production steps from input materials (raw materials in the earth, scrap, etc.) to finished products

ready to be shipped from the steelworks, including the recycling of steel products (i.e. cradle to gate).

This includes production processes at the steelworks and all the upstream processes, including energy

conversion, raw material mining, material preparation and transportation of materials to the steelworks

site. The effect of scrap recycling, or the burdens of using scrap and the credits for the recovery of steel

products, should be considered according to the procedure described in 5.3. The calculation of steel

product LCIs should include allocation on scrap to reflect the nature of closed loop recycling. Cradle to

gate LCIs without scrap allocation may be reported when this is aligned to the goals and scope of the

study. Additionally, care should be taken that if no burdens are assigned to scrap inputs, then no credits

should be applied to steel recycling. Also, the recovery and use of steel industry co-products outside of

the steelworks shall be taken into account according to the allocation procedure described in 5.5. The

system boundary does not include the manufacturing of final products using steel products or their use

in the society.
Figure 2 — System boundary

The following items should be excluded from the system boundary. If any of them are included in the

system boundary, this shall be clearly stated and explained.
— Transportation of steel products beyond the gate.
— Transportation of co-products beyond the gate.
— Manufacturing of final products.
— Use of final products.
— Research and development.
— Business travel of employees.
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ISO 20915:2018(E)
— Production, decommissioning, repair and maintenance of capital goods.
— Cleaning and legal services.
— Marketing.
— Operation of administration offices.
4.4 Data quality
4.4.1 General

The data quality requirements set out in of ISO 14044:2006, 4.2.3.6, should be followed, including time-

related coverage (4.4.2), geographical coverage (4.4.3) and technology coverage (4.4.4).

4.4.2 Time-related coverage

The timeframe of data collection should be one full representative year to adjust for seasonal variations.

If the data set is not possible for a full year, this shall be explained and justified. Moreover, since the LCI

results are prone to change over time for reasons, such as changes in operational rate due to economic

conditions and technological improvements, the time period in which the data are collected shall

be stated clearly. Primary data sets used in LCI studies should not be more than five years old. Any

secondary data used should be less than 10 years old, unless its ongoing validity is justified. When

using data outside of the reference year, the choice shall be explained and justified.

4.4.3 Geographical coverage

An LCI study of steel products may be reported with various geographical representations, for example,

one steelworks, one steel company, national, regional or global coverage. When the study covers

multiple steelworks (or companies, regions, etc.), the geographical coverage and representation should

be clearly stated. The LCI should be presented as a weighted average by the production quantity of the

covered scope, not a simple arithmetic average. For example, Product A produced by sites 1, 2 and 3

with mass M1, M2 and M3 would be averaged as: (LCI1 × M1 + LCI2 × M2 + LCI3 × M3)/(M1 + M2 + M3).

Manufacturers contributing to the LCI shall be documented, and use of the data set shall be noted as

applicable within the bounds of the contributing manufacturers.
4.4.4 Technology coverage

This document covers production technologies of unalloyed steels and alloy steels, as defined in

ISO 4948-1:1982. This document does not cover the production of stainless steel.
4.4.5 Sources of the data

Steel production data shall be directly sourced from steel producers based on primary data, such as

measurement, engineering calculations and purchasing records.

Upstream data produced by suppliers should be used. If the information is not available, secondary

data produced by LCA-related organizations, academic institutions, public institutions, such as regional

and national governments, and steel-related organizations may be used. All secondary data should be

checked for geographical relevance to the LCI.
4.4.6 Cut-off criteria

As stated in ISO 14044:2006, 4.2.3.3.3, the cut-off criteria for initial inclusion of inputs and outputs and

the assumptions on which the cut-off criteria are established shall be clearly described. In particular,

for LCI of steel products, cut-off criteria may be established for all energetic inputs and outputs to the

process stages, including fuels, electricity, steam and other converted energy as well as for all inputs

and outputs to the process stages of ferrous raw materials, process coal and non-ferrous raw materials.

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ISO 20915:2018(E)
To avoid the need to pursue trivial input
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