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The CENTRE FOR INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY (CIE) at the University of Coimbra is a research group in the multi-disciplinary field of Industrial Ecology. The CIE develops and applies tools to enhance the sustainability of products and systems supported by life-cycle thinking.


The CIE is actively involved in the Energy for Sustainability Initiative at the University of Coimbra and is part of ADAI-LAETA (Associated Laboratory for Energy, Transports and Aeronautics).


The CIE promotes scientific research, development and innovation to support industry, public authorities, organizations, and consumers towards sustainable production and consumption. The CIE takes a holistic and systematic approach to the analysis of sustainable systems by exploring trade-offs and synergies between economy, environment and society.


The CIE has assembled a multidisciplinary team of faculty, researchers, doctoral/Master’s candidates, and visiting scholars. Research is carried out in collaboration with other Portuguese institutions and with international partners mainly in Europe, the United States and Latin America.


The CIE team has experience in both research and technical projects in the field of Industrial Ecology and provides expertise in:

    Life-cycle management

    Life-cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA)

    Environmental life-cycle assessment (LCA), Social LCA, and Life-Cycle Costing (LCC)

    Dynamic LCA, multi-objective optimization, and other extended life-cycle approaches

    Carbon, water, and environmental footprints


    Urban metabolism


Our expertise is applied in the following areas:

    Energy | renewables (bio-energy, bio-fuels, solar, and others), natural gas, electricity

    Transportation | sustainable mobility, vehicle components and systems (electric vehicles, trains, fleet analysis, batteries), power trains

    Buildings and Sustainable Architecture | building components, pre-fabricated architecture, sustainable construction and retro-fit, thermal insulation, sustainable urban development

    Agri-food and Forestry | fruits, vegetables, vegetable oils, animal-derived products, sustainable diets, wood-based materials, land-use change

    Waste Management | waste cooking oil, beef tallow, demilitarization, anaerobic digestion, building waste management



The CIE provides the following services:

    LCA studies and critical reviews (ISO 14040/44)

    Environmental Product Declarations (EDPs), including DAPHabitat

    Product Carbon Footprint (PAS 2050, GHG Protocol, ISO 14067)

    Assessment of sustainability criteria for bio-fuels

    Sustainability assessment of buildings

    Development of eco-design tools (improvement of resource and energy efficiency, and waste minimization)

    Training and scientific meetings



O CENTRO PARA A ECOLOGIA INDUSTRIAL (CIE) na Universidade de Coimbra é um grupo de investigação na área multidisciplinar da Ecologia Industrial. A investigação do CIE visa promover a sustentabilidade de produtos e sistemas através do desenvolvimento e aplicação de abordagens de ciclo de vida.

O CIE tem um forte envolvimento na Iniciativa Energia para a Sustentabilidade da Universidade de Coimbra e faz parte da ADAI-LAETA (Associação para o Desenvolvimento da Aerodinâmica Industrial – Laboratório Associado em Energia, Transportes e Aerodinâmica).

O CIE reúne uma equipa multidisciplinar de docentes, investigadores, doutorandos, mestrandos e investigadores visitantes. A investigação é realizada em colaboração com outras instituições portuguesas e parceiros internacionais, principalmente na Europa, Estados Unidos e América Latina.

A equipa do CIE tem experiência em projetos técnicos e de investigação na área de Ecologia Industrial, nomeadamente em:

     Gestão do Ciclo de Vida

     Avaliação da Sustentabilidade de Ciclo de Vida

     Avaliação Ambiental de Ciclo de Vida (ACV), Avaliação Social de Ciclo de Vida, Avaliação Económica de Ciclo de Vida

     ACV dinâmica, otimização multiobjectivo, e outras abordagens de ciclo de vida

     Pegada de carbono, pegada da água e pegada ambiental


     Metabolismo urbano


     Energia | renováveis (bioenergia, biocombustíveis, solar e outras), gás natural, eletricidade

     Transportes | mobilidade sustentável, sistemas de veículos e componentes automóveis (veículos elétricos, transporte ferroviário, análise de frotas, baterias)

     Edifícios e Arquitetura Sustentável | componentes de edifícios, arquitetura pré-fabricada, construção e remodelação sustentável, isolamento térmico, desenvolvimento urbano sustentável

     Agro-indústria e Florestas | frutas, vegetais, óleos vegetais, produtos de origem animal, dietas sustentáveis, produtos de madeira, alteração de uso dos solos

     Gestão de Resíduos | óleos alimentares usados, gordura animal, desmilitarização, digestão anaeróbia, gestão de resíduos de construção e demolição



     Estudos de ACV e revisões críticas (ISO 14040/44)

     Elaboração de Declarações Ambientais de Produto (DAP), incluindo DAPHabitat

     Avaliação da Pegada de Carbono do Produto (PAS 2050, GHG Protocol, ISO 14067)

     Avaliação de critérios de sustentabilidade de biocombustíveis

     Avaliação da sustentabilidade de edifícios

     Desenvolvimento de ferramentas de eco-design

     Formação e organização de encontros científicos





Fausto Freire was invited to give a plenary lecture on “LCA and Eco-Design” in the V Congresso Brasileiro em Gestão do Ciclo de Vida, taking place in Fortaleza, Brazil, on September 19-22. He will also present the communication:

Garcia, R., Marque, P., Freire, F. (2016). Avaliação de ciclo de vida da geração de eletricidade em Portugal incluindo variabilidade temporal.



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The kick-off meeting of the H2020 project UrbanWINS was held at Cremona, Italy, on July 7-8. Fausto Freire participated in the meeting as coordinator of the University of Coimbra team.





The Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Coimbra (FCTUC) and the National Entity for Fuel Market (ENMC) signed a protocol of cooperation, on June 28. The protocol aims to exchange experiences and scientific and technical knowledge in biofuels.


In the scope of this protocol, ENMC and FCTUC organized the workshop “Desenvolvimento de Biocombustíveis mais Sustentáveis, to present the new European Directive 2015/1513 on Sustainable Biofuels and gather feedback from stakeholders regarding its implementation in Portugal.





Fausto Freire was invited to be a member of the external advisory committee of the BioEcon project “New Strategies on Bio-Economy in Poland”. He

participated in the Bioeconomy in Agriculture” conference organized in the scope of the project, held in Pulawy (Poland), 21-22 June.




Carla Caldeira participated in the Gordon Research Conference and Seminar on Industrial Ecology, held in June 18 - 19, at Stowe, United States. She presented the following papers:

   Caldeira, C., Olivetti, E., Kirchain, R., Dias, L., Freire, F. (2016) A Life-cycle Multi-Objective Decision Tool to Incorporate Waste Cooking Oil in Biodiesel Production.

    Caldeira, C., Olivetti, E., Kirchain, R., Dias, L., Freire, F. (2016) A life-cycle multi-objective model to assess the use of secondary material in biodiesel production.



Fausto Freire presented the following papers in the ECI - Life Cycle Assessment and Other Assessment Tools for Waste Management and Resource Optimization Conference, held in June 5-10, Cetraro (Calabria), Italy:

   Ferreira, C., Freire, F., Ribeiro, J., Clift R. (2016). Valorization of energetic material from ammunition in civil explosives.

   Castanheira, É.G., Figueiredo, F., Freire, F. (2016). Life-cycle assessment of olive oil addressing alternative production systems: how to deal with olive pomace valorization?







Érica Castanheira participated in the ARIMNet2 Young Researchers Seminar (YRS): 29 May - 3 June 2016, Montpellier, France.





Rita Garcia and Joana Bastos presented the following papers at CEM 2016, held in 1-2 June, in Porto, Portugal:

   Malça J, Marques P, Serrano L, Castanheira EG, Garcia R, Freire, F (2016). Comparative Well-to-Wheels Assessment of Biodiesel and Fossil Diesel for Heavy Duty Transport in Latin America.

   Garcia, R., Marques, P., Freire, F. (2016). Temporal variability in the environmental life-cycle assessment of electricity in Portugal.

   Bastos, J.; Marques, P.; Batterman, S.; Freire, F. (2016). Life-cycle assessment of urban transportation modes.




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Last updated on June 9 2016.