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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1147: IX International Symposium on Artichoke, Cardoon and Their Wild Relatives

Life cycle assessment of cardoon production system in different areas of Italy

Authors:   F. Razza, L. Sollima, M. Falce, R.M.S. Costa, V. Toscano, A. Novelli, A. Ciancolini, S.A. Raccuia
Keywords:   cardoon, biomass production, LCA, sustainability
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1147.46
Abstract:
This paper presents the outcomes of life cycle assessment (LCA) of cardoon biomass (i.e., Cynara cardunculus var. altilis L.) produced in Sicilian internal hilly area and Sardinian marginal areas. Cardoon, can be seen as double nature crop since on one side, it produces decent amounts of oil seeds (1.3-1.5 Mg ha-1 year-1) and, on the other side, valuable amounts of biomass (12-23 Mg ha-1 year-1). For these reasons its interest is steadily increasing, especially for its suitability to be used as feedstock crop in biorefineries. The LCA analysis was performed considering two indicators: Global Warming Potential (GWP), in terms of GHG emission coming from life cycle of cardoon and, two energy indicators (i.e., net energy yield and energy efficiency). Inventory data like biomass yield, diesel and fertilizers consumptions, etc., were derived from primary data collected directly from the field trials in Sicily (Provincia di Enna) and Sardinia (Provincia di Sassari). Emissions to air and water, related to the use of fertilizers, were worked out based on IPCC and Ecoinvent guidelines. The final aims of this research were: to identify the most valuable phases along these biomass chains, in terms of GHG emissions and energy consumption; to provide preliminary recommendations on how to improve the sustainability of the biomass chain (cardoon) for bio-refinery.

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