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Title: LCA of Arundo donax L. lignocellulosic feedstock production under Mediterranean conditions
Authors: A., Forte
A., Zucaro
M., Fagnano
Basosi, Riccardo 
A., Fierro
Keywords: Giant reed; LCA; Direct field emissions; Environmental impact; Feedstock production; Perennial crops
Issue Date: 2015
Project: None 
The cultivation of giant reed lignocellulosic feedstock on marginal land, appears of great interest in the Mediterranean basin, due to its high production potential under drought conditions. Starting from a three years field survey, in this paper a LCA was applied to the overall 15 years life cycle of a Mediterranean giant reed cultivation in Southern Italy, including Direct Field Emissions (DFE) and non-productive phases of cultivation. Agricultural practices performed yearly for field maintenance (FM-urea fertilization) and harvest operation (HO) shared the largest part of total burdens, nonetheless, the impact of crop establishment and final removal appeared significant. FM was strongly affected by DFE of soil biogenic N2O and fossil CO2 (about 23% and 9% of total Climate change, respectively) and volatilized NH3 (about 69%, 42% and 35% of total impact for Terrestrial acidification, Particulate matter formation and Marine eutrophication, respectively). For Marine eutrophication, also nitrate leaching in the plantation year, affected significantly the overall life cycle. Differently DFE linked to field application of K-P fertilizers for seedbed preparation (P and heavy metal emissions) and pest for final eradication (glyphosate emission), appeared more circumscribed. The study highlighted the need to carefully approach to soil carbon storage, and disclosed to be sensitive to uncertainty linked to DFE and crop yield pattern estimation.
ISSN: 0961-9534
DOI: 10.1016/j.biombioe.2014.12.005
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