On February 27 and 28, three researchers from Industrial Ecology Freiburg joined the GreenDelta team in Berlin for a workshop on the interface between openLCA and Python. The workshop resulted in the creation of a tutorial by GreenDelta’s chief programmer Michael Srocka, which can be found here:
openLCA is a professional open source LCA software. Currently, the graphical user interface limits the type of models that can be built with the LCA software and thus the types of research questions that the LCA software can answer. That applies to all LCA softwares except Brightway.
openLCA is written in Java, and there is also Jython, an implementation of the Python programming language for Java platforms, from which a programmer can import all Java libraries, including those for openLCA. The Python application programming interface (API) for openLCA allows direct access to the openLCA software core, circumventing the graphical user interface. That means that one can write a Python script generating the product system and organising the results, rather than having to enter all data and structures by hand. The Python scripting tool is necessary for creating and analysing large product systems, including the analysis of many separate but only slightly different systems (e.g., for Monte Carlo Simulations). It also allows us to write and document LCA studies as scripts, which facilitates open science, cumulative work, and reproducibility.