Attributional and Consequential Life Cycle Assessment for Biomass Energy Production from Maize Cob in Chiang Dao district

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Titaporn Supasri
Sate Sampattagul

Abstract

Maize is one of the most typical crops cultivated in Chiang Mai, Thailand. According to Office of Agricultural Economics, maize production in Chiang Mai in 2016 was about 121,665 tonne while the maize residues (cobs, leaves, and stalks) was around 253,063 tonne. In Chiang Dao, one of district in Chiang Mai, the production of maize and maize residues were 17,905 and 37,242 tonne, respectively. Maize farming in Northern of Thailand is growing tremendously. However, the current maize farming practices have also caused several problems to local communities as well as urban dwellers. Therefore, improper agricultural practices have contributed to negative environmental impacts. This study evaluates the life cycle environmental impacts of biomass energy production from maize cob in Chiang Dao district by using Attributional Life Cycle Assessment (ALCA) and Consequential (CLCA) approaches. The system boundary of this study includes land preparation, planting, weeding, farming, harvesting, maize cob pellet production and heat production from maize cob pellet. The functional unit of this study is 1 MJ of biomass energy production from maize cob. The data were obtained from field survey supplemented with Thai National Life Cycle Inventory Database and scientific publication. The product systems being effected under global and national markets depend on the market delimitation of each product. The additional maize cob production dedicating specifically for biomass energy production from maize cob potentially contributes to substantial environmental impacts reductions and biomass fully utilization. Furthermore, this research presents how modelling choices affect the environmental impacts of biomass energy production from maize cob.

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References

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