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    Integrating agronomic factors into energy efficiency assessment ofagro-bioenergy production – A case study of ethanol and biogasproduction from maize feedstock


    Arodudu, Dunsin and Helming, Katarina and Voinov, Alexey and Wiggering, Hubert (2017) Integrating agronomic factors into energy efficiency assessment ofagro-bioenergy production – A case study of ethanol and biogasproduction from maize feedstock. Applied Energy, 198. pp. 426-439. ISSN 0306-2619

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    Abstract

    Previous life cycle assessments for agro-bioenergy production rarely considered some agronomic factorswith local and regional impacts. While many studies have found the environmental and socio-economicimpacts of producing bioenergy on arable land not good enough to be considered sustainable, others con-sider it still as one of the most effective direct emission reduction and fossil fuel replacement measures.This study improved LCA methods in order to examine the individual and combined effects of often over-looked agronomic factors (e.g. alternative farm power, seed sowing, fertilizer, tillage and irrigationoptions) on life-cycle energy indicators (net energy gain-NEG, energy return on energy invested-EROEI), across the three major agro-climatic zones namely tropic, sub-tropic and the temperate land-scapes. From this study, we found that individual as well as combined effects of agronomic factorsmay improve the energy productivity of arable bioenergy sources considerably in terms of the NEG (frombetween 6.8 and 32.9 GJ/ha to between 99.5 and 246.7 GJ/ha for maize ethanol; from between 39.0 and118.4 GJ/ha to between 127.9 and 257.9 GJ/ha for maize biogas) and EROEI (from between 1.2 and 1.8 tobetween 2.1 and 3.0 for maize ethanol, from between 4.3 and 12.1 to between 15.0 and 33.9 for maizebiogas). The agronomic factors considered by this study accounted for an extra 7.5–14.6 times more ofNEG from maize ethanol, an extra 2.2–3.3 times more of NEG from maize biogas, an extra 1.7 to 1.8 times more of EROEI from maize ethanol, and an extra 2.8–3.5 times more of EROEI from maize biogas respec-tively. This therefore underscores the need to factor in local and regional agronomic factors into energyefficiency and sustainability assessments, as well as decision making processes regarding the applicationof energy from products of agro-bioenergy production.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: LCA; NEG; EROEI; Agro-climatic zones; Maize ethanol and biogas production systems; Agronomic factors;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Item ID: 11102
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.02.017
    Depositing User: Dunsin Arodudu
    Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2019 16:16
    Journal or Publication Title: Applied Energy
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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