ecoinvent Version 3.2

ecoinvent v3.2 was released in November 2015. This release provided a further update of the electricity sector, data on refrigerated transport and new international data for several sectors.

Oct 24th, 2023

It also introduced market groups for regions, countries and products. 

As we wish to ensure clarity and transparency, we openly document the changes made between the latest update and the previous version of the database. Therefore, we offer various files that document and clarify the changes that have been made with each version of the database. These include detailed the report of changes, correspondence files, as well as files that include all activities of each version. Further, we document all known issues of each version to alert database users and to support their understanding and use of the database.

New and Updated Data


Complete Update of the Electricity Sector

With the release of ecoinvent version 3.0, electricity production data for countries from all over the world were added. Thanks to extensive work from the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), version 3.2 features another update of the electricity sector using the newest grid mixes and the latest available data on electricity production. The update includes over 2,200 datasets, covering 89% of the world’s electricity production in 56 countries. The annual production volumes for all technologies were updated, which means ecoinvent 3.2 now uses the latest electricity mix data. Moreover, new technologies such as combined heat & power (CHP) production for hard coal, lignite, oil and natural gas plants as well as new geothermal generation are now also included. The update did not only cover the existing electricity regions but further detail was provided by adding countries, such as Iceland and Estonia. Additionally, the addition of market groups for electricity provides more ease of use by combining the electricity mixes for bigger regions in one dataset, such as UCTE, ENTSO-E, Asia, or the USA. More details on this new feature is provided below. 

Electricity Data for 32 Chinese Regions 

China is the world’s most populous country with a fast-growing economy that has led it to be the largest energy consumer and producer in the world. Version 3.2 includes electricity production data for 32 Chinese regions, as well as mixes for different grids within China and for China as a whole. This data offers detailed information on the differences in environmental impacts of the electricity production of all Chinese regions. 


Nowadays goods and foodstuffs are increasingly traded on a global scale, even if they are easily perishable. Version 3.2 addresses this demand by including data on refrigerated transport. The refrigerated transport is available for all different modes of transport: ship, train, aircraft and truck. 

Market Groups 

Version 3.2 features market groups, a new type of dataset that facilitates readability and modifying datasets. Market groups exist for a selection of regions, countries and products. If you are, for example, interested in knowing the electricity mixes for the regions of UCTE, ENTSO-E or whole continents, you can find that information in the market group dataset. In this way e.g. electricity mixes that are commonly used together are grouped for ease of use and convenience. 

New International Data 

Besides the above-mentioned additions, version 3.2 also features new data in the areas of the cement, wood and waste treatment. Especially noteworthy are the European aluminium production datasets which were updated with the support of the European Aluminium Association (EAA). 

Relevant Documents and Files

Report of Changes

This report covers all changes made in the ecoinvent database between version 3.1 (2014) and version 3.2 (2015). It reflects both the database-wide changes, as well as the sector-specific changes. 

Report of changes

This automatically generated excel file provides an overview of changes made on the undefined unit process datasets between versions 3.1 and 3.2 of the ecoinvent database. The Report of Changes XLS can be found in the «Files» section of ecoQuery, the online version of the ecoinvent database version 3. It is available to licensees of the ecoinvent database. 

Correspondence File 

The correspondence file is a spreadsheet that lists all datasets in versions 3.1 and 3.2 and matches corresponding datasets between versions. 

Activity Overview for ecoinvent v3.2, Undefined 

An excel file listing all the activities and products present in the ecoinvent version 3.2 database including most of the metadata (geography, ISIC classification, activity type, technology level, product type, unit, etc.). This file also includes a list of all geographies, elementary and intermediate exchanges present in the database. 

Activity Overview for ecoinvent v3.2, APOS 

An excel file listing all the activities present in the ecoinvent version 3.2 database including metadata related specifically to the Allocation at the point of substitution. 

Activity Overview for ecoinvent v3.2, Consequential 

An excel file listing all the activities preesent in the database including metadata related specifically to the Substitution, consequential, long-term system model. 

Activity Overview for ecoinvent v3.2, Cut-Off 

An excel file which lists all the activities present in the database including metadata related specifically to the Allocation, cut-off by classification system model. 

LCIA Methods in ecoinvent v3.2 

List of all LCIA methods including all the impact categories as well as list of selected LCI cumulative results provided by ecoinvent. 

Known Issues

This section lists all known data errors in version 3.2 of the ecoinvent database. 

Data issues 

  • In the consequential system model, the following 4 constrained markets receive no input from their marginal supplier: market for residual hardwood, wet; market for residual softwood, wet; market for residual wood, dry; market for venting of nitrogen, liquid; market for ground granulated blast furnace slag 
  • In the consequential system model, the “market for hydrogen, liquid” RoW is not present, and consumer activities originally linking to this market receive a 0 amount of “hydrogen, liquid”. 
  • The following activities had the input of solvent/water removed, following the rule of chemicals in solution: alkyd paint production, white, solvent-based, product in 60% solution state; alkyd paint production, white, water-based, product in 60% solution state; alkyd resin production, long oil, product in 70% white spirit solution state; printing ink production, offset, product in 47.5% solution state; printing ink production, rotogravure, product in 55% toluene solution state. 
  • Unfortunately, the demanding activities of the resulting products (listed below) also lack this input of solvent/water: alkyd paint, white, without solvent, in 60% solution state; alkyd paint, white, without water, in 60% solution state; alkyd resin, long oil, without solvent, in 70% white spirit solution state; printing ink, offset, without solvent, in 47.5% solution state; printing ink, rotogravure, without solvent, in 55% toluene solution state. 
  • The “market for copper” is distorted in v3.2. It is supplied by the activities “copper production, from imported concentrates” DE and GLO, which were converted from v2.2, and generated automatically respectively. Those activities were not intended to produce “copper” and are already being corrected and renamed in the working version of the Undefined database (accessible through the ecoEditor). The next release of the calculated database (v3.3, scheduled for 2016) will contain the corrected activities and the corrected market. The users which want to use the “market for copper” in v3.2 can correct it the following way: edit the market and remove “copper” exchanges coming from “copper production, from imported concentrates” (DE and GLO); increase the relative contribution of the other producers to cover 100% market share. 

For the products where market groups exist, all RoW activities are getting their supply from GLO market groups. This can lead to big errors in some cases, specially when there are many local consumers. This is corrected for the ecoinvent 3.3.