Life Cycle Impact Assessment applied to cactus pear crop production for generating bioenergy and biofertiliser

Carlo Greco, Santo Orlando, Antonio Comparetti, Kestutis Venslauskas, Carlo Greco, Kestutis Navickas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Among the potential uses of cactus pear, the generation of bioenergy (biogas) andbiofertiliser (digestate), from the Anaerobic Digestion (AD) of cladodes and fruits,is surveyed in this paper.Data for Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) was drawn from a farm located inRoccapalumba (Palermo, Sicily, Italy), where three cultivars were cultivated: 1) yellowpulp cultivar; 2) red pulp cultivar; 3) white pulp cultivar. LCIA was applied tosix scenarios: 1) current dry crop; 2) current irrigated crop; 3) dry crop for fruit andbioenergy production; 4) irrigated crop for fruit and bioenergy production; 5) drycrop for bioenergy production; 6) irrigated crop for bioenergy production.According to LCIA, the highest total GHG emissions were found in Scenarios 2 and4, while the lowest ones were found in Scenario 5. Moreover, the highest share ofenvironmental impact for Scenarios 2, 4 and 6 is associated with the consumption ofcardboard boxes used for collecting and transporting fruits, crop irrigation and ahigher human work load.Furthermore, the digestate obtained from the AD process contains nutrients whichmake it a valuable biofertiliser, so that it reduces the expenditure for mineral fertilisers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-329
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Development
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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