Title: Integrated impact assessment of biomass conversion systems with the method of life cycle assessment. A comprehensive review

Authors: Emmanouil Tziolas; Thomas Bournaris; Stefanos A. Nastis; Basil Manos

Addresses: Department of Agricultural Economics, School of Agriculture, Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124, Thessaloniki, Greece ' Department of Agricultural Economics, School of Agriculture, Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124, Thessaloniki, Greece ' Department of Agricultural Economics, School of Agriculture, Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124, Thessaloniki, Greece ' Department of Agricultural Economics, School of Agriculture, Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124, Thessaloniki, Greece

Abstract: The formulation of bio-based industries constitutes a major goal for the generation of sustainable forms of energy globally. Nevertheless, the different bio-energy pathways depend on manifold conversion technologies and induce an assortment of environmental impacts. To this end, the evaluation tool of life cycle assessment (LCA) is thoroughly analysed for biomass exploitation systems, since it is acknowledged as the most advantageous methodological framework. Furthermore, specific critical points of LCA are identified through literature review and the four-step modular process is analysed. Moreover, a classification of 40 papers implementing LCA and biomass exploitation is conducted to investigate the direction of the scientific stimulus, as well as the fluctuation of funded projects after the bloom of relevant technological advancements. The majority of the papers assessed a complete biomass exploitation system 'from cradle to grave', while 65% describe systems in the European region. Finally, the increase of funded projects is prominent the last nine years and the number of researches regarding LCA and biomass is increasing as well.

Keywords: life cycle assessment; LCA; energy crops; biomass; bio-energy; bio-fuel; sustainable development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSAMI.2018.10016043

International Journal of Sustainable Agricultural Management and Informatics, 2018 Vol.4 No.2, pp.123 - 150

Received: 18 Sep 2017
Accepted: 16 May 2018

Published online: 23 Sep 2018 *

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