Integration of life cycle assessment and regional emission information in agricultural systems

Junbeum Kim, Albina Yalaltdinova, Natalia Sirina, Natalia Baranovskaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a compilation and evaluation of the input energy and materials, output emissions and the potential environmental impacts of a product, service or system throughout its life cycle. While methodological issues of LCA are still being developed, much research is being conducted worldwide in order to improve them. One of the important advances in LCA is a regionalised LCA, i.e. the development of regionalised databases, inventories, and impact assessment methods and models. RESULTS: Regional emission information (REI) was developed and integrated with the characterisation results in LCA of an agricultural product in the study area. Comparison of outcomes obtained with LCA characterisation results that did not include REI shows that the characterisation results taking REI into account are much higher as regards human toxicity, from 0.02% to 0.18%, freshwater ecotoxicity from 89% to 99% and terrestrial ecotoxicity from 8.006% to 26.177%. CONCLUSION: Results of current LCA studies on agricultural products and systems that do not include REI are under-estimating the life cycle environmental impact. For the LCA of agricultural products and systems, the REI as well as regionalised life cycle inventory data should be developed and integrated into the current LCA approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2544-2553
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Volume95
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015

Keywords

  • Biomonitoring
  • Heavy metal emissions
  • Human toxicity and ecotoxicity
  • Life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • Regional emission information (REI)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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