Environmental assessment of energy valorisation of residual agrofood industry biomass in Sicily: a life cycle approach

Risultato della ricerca: Conference contribution


Anaerobic digestion (AD) uses biomass to produce biogas to generate heat and/orelectricity. Several studies have reported that the adoption of AD may not necessarily leadto sustainable practices. For example, energy crops may cause significant impact due to therequirement of intensive agricultural practices. Then, residual biomasses are starting to beconsidered as alternative biomass for energy valorisation trough AD. In this context, thisstudy assesses the potential environmental impacts related to the energy valorisation ofagro-food industry waste though the Life Cycle Assessment methodology (ISO 14040). Thesystem examined consists of a real anaerobic digester coupled with a combined heat andpower plant (AD-CHP) operating in Sicily. The analysis accountsfor all the impacts occurringfrom the delivery of the biomass to the AD-CHP plant up to the electricity generation in theCHP. The main outcomes of the study include the eco-profile of the energy systemproviding electricity and the assessment of the contribution of each life cycle phase aimedat identifying the potential improvement area. Specifically, it highlights that directemissions are responsible for the highest impact in global warming potential (66%) andfeedstock transport contributes for the highest impact (64%) in mineral, fossil fuels andrenewable depletion. The contribution of the electricity consumption to the differentimpact categories is in general relevant ranging from a minimum of about 22% for globalwarming potential up to 82% for freshwater ecotoxicity. The obtained results can provideuseful information to improve the sustainability AD-CHP systems.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteXX CONGRESSO NAZIONALE CIRIAF - Sviluppo Sostenibile, Tutela dell’Ambiente e della Salute Umana - Atti
Numero di pagine9
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2020


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