Assessment of Energy Sustainability and Carbon Footprint of a Jatropha Biofuel Chain in Rural Area of Brazil

Mario Baldini, Luisa Nigrisoli, Lucia Piani

Abstract


Because of the world population growth and increasing energy demands, renewable energy sources are seen as valid fossil fuel alternatives that could guarantee environmental benefits.  In this context Jatropha curcas L. has been identified as a promising feedstock for biofuel production and promoted as a sustainable biofuel crop. This paper analyzes the creation of a Jatropha-oil chain in a rural area in north-eastern Brazil (Ceará State) utilizing the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method. The aim of this study is to evaluate the energy sustainability expressed as cumulative energy demand (CED) and carbon footprint expressed as global warming potential (GWP) of a Jatropha-oil chain in comparison with fossil fuel (diesel). The component with most impact on the Jatropha-oil chain was electricity consumption, which accounted for 42% and 63% of CED and GWP, respectively. The analyzed Jatropha biofuel-chain presented a more favourable energy balance (94% of CED saved) and a lower effect on global warming (77% of greenhouse gas emission, GHG, avoided) in comparison with diesel fossil fuel. If the biofuel produced, instead of being used locally, was exported over a long distance (i.e. to the European Union), the energy and environmental benefits obtained were completely nullified. Crop management practices based essentially on manual labour of family farming system, as in the present study, determined a positive influence on the energy balance and carbon footprint in the Jatropha-oil chain. On the contrary, a crop management practices making high use of inputs (fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation ...) on large areas of monoculture, could negatively affect the socio-economic sustainability of the whole Jatropha-biofuel chain.

Keywords


Jatropha curcas L.; Environmental Sustainability; Life Cycle Assessment; Family Farming System

References


Amigun, B.; Musango, G.K.; and Stafford, W. 2011. Biofuels and sustainability in Africa. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 15: 1360-1372.

Achten, W.M.J.; Maes, W.H.; Aerts, R.; Verchot, L.; Trabucco, A.; Mathijs, E.; Singh, V.P.; and Muys, B. 2010a. Jatropha: from global hype to local opportunity. Journal of Arid Environment 74: 164-165.

Achten, W.M.J.; Almeida, J.; Fobelets, V.; Bolle, E.; Mathijs, E.; Singh, V.P.; Tewari, D.N.; Verchot, L.V. and Muys, B. 2010b. Life cycle assessment of Jatropha biodiesel as transportation fuel in rural India. Applied Energy 87: 3652-3660.

Achten, W.M.J.; Trabucco, A.; Maes, W.H.; Verchot, L.V.; Aerts, R.; Mathijs, E.; Vantomme, P.; Singh, V.P.; and Muys, B. 2012. Global greenhouse gas implications of land conversion to biofuel crop cultivation in arid and semi-arid lands – Lessons learned from Jatropha. Journal of Arid Environment, available at http: //dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2012.06.015 [accessed on 11 January 2013]. 11 pages.

Bailis, R.E. and Baka, J.E. 2010. Greenhouse gas emissions and land use change from Jatropha curcas-based jet fuel in Brazil. Environmental Science & Technology 44: 8684-8691.

Carels, N. 2009. Jatropha curcas: a review, Advances in Botanical Research 50: 39-86.

Cherubini, F.; Bird, N.D.; Cowie, A.; Jungmeier, G.; Schlama Dinger, B.; and Woess-Gallasch, S. 2009. Energy- and greenhouse gas-based LCA of biofuel and bioenergy systems: key issues, ranges and recommendation. Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 53: 434-447.

Commission on Sustainable Development, 2007. Small-scale Production and Use of Liquid Biofuels in Sub-saharan Africa: Perspectives for Sustainable Development. 15th Session. Background Paper No. 2. Energy and Transport Branch, Division for Sustainable Development, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2007. 45 pages.

EMBRAPA, 2009. Pinhão manso – Matéria prima potencial para produção de biodiesel, EMBRAPA/MAE/Governo Federal, available at http://www.infoteca.cnptia.embrapa.br/ bitstream/doc/578281/1/PinhaomansomateriaprimapotencialparaproducaodebiodieselnoBrasil.pdf [accessed on 5 December 2012]. 6 pages.

Esteban, B.; Baquero, G.; Puig, R.; Riba, J.R; and Rius, A. 2011. Is it environmentally advantageous to use vegetable oil direct as biofuel instead of converting it to biodiesel?. Biomass and Bioenergy 35: 1317-1328.

EU, 2009. Directive on the promotion of use of energy from renewable sources. European Parliament, Directive 2009/28/EC, 23 April 2009. 47 pages.

FACT, 2010. The Jatropha handbook – From cultivation to application, FACT, available at http://www.snvworld.org/ sites/www.snvworld.org/files/publications/fact_foundation_jatropha_handbook_2010.pdf [accessed on 8 November 2012]. 172 pages.

FAO/WHO/UNU, 2001. Human energy requirement: report of a joint FAO/WHO/UNU expert consultation, FAO, available at ftp://ftp.fao.org/DOCREP/FAO/007/y5686e/y5686e00.pdf [accessed on 10 November 2012]. 96 pages.

Folegatti Matsuura, M.; Da Silva, G. A.; Kulay, L. A.; and Laviola, B. G. 2011. Life cycle inventory of physic nut biodiesel: comparison between the manual and mechanised agricultural production systems practiced in Brazil. Towards Life Cycle Sustainability Management 41: 425-436.

FUNCEME, 2012. available at http://www.funceme.br/ index.php/areas/tempo/grafico-de-chuvas-dos-postos-pluviometricos [accessed on 5 December 2012].

Governo do Estado do Ceará, 2010. Programa de ação estadual de combate á desertificação e mitigação dos efeitos da seca – PAE – CE, Ministerio do Meio Ambiente/Segrataria dos Recursos Hídricas – Fortaleza, 372 pages. .

IEA, 2011. Technology roadmap – Biofuels for transport, OECD/IEA, available at http://www.iea.org/ publications/freepublications/publication/biofuels_roadmap.pdf [accessed on 25 March 2013]. 56 pages.

IPCC, 2006. Guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories, Volumes 1-5. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. available at http://www.ipcc-nggip.iges.or.jp/public/2006gl/ [accessed on 10 November 2012].

IPCC, 2011. Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation. (Editors: Ottmar Edenhofer, Ramón Pichs-Madruga, Youba Sokona, Kristin Seyboth, Patrick Matschoss, Susanne Kadner, Timm Zwickel, Patrick Eickemeier, Gerrit Hansen, Steffen Schloemer, and Christoph von Stechow). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K. 1075 pages.

IPECE, 2012. Perfil básico municipal 2012 - Uruoca, IPECE, available at http://www.ipece.ce.gov.br/ publicacoes/perfil_basico/pbm-2012/Uruoca.pdf [accessed on 5 December 2012]. 18 pages.

Kumar, V.; Makkar, H.P.S.; Amselgruber, W.; and Becker, K. 2010. Physiological, haematological and histopathological responses in common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) fingerlings fed with differently detoxified Jatropha curcas kernel meal. Food and Chemical Toxicology 48: 2063–2072.

Maes, W.H.; Trabucco, A.; Achten, W.M.J.; and Muys, B. 2009. Climatic growing conditions of Jatropha curcas. Biomass and Bioenergy 33: 1481-1485.

Makkar, H.P.S. and Becker, K. 2009. Jatropha curcas, a promising crop for the generation of biodiesel and value-added co-products. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology 111: 773-787.

Ndong, R.; Montrejaud-Vignoles, M.; Saint Girons, O.; Gabrielles, B.; Pirot, R.; Domergue, M.; and Sablayrolles, C. 2009. Life cycle assessment of biofuels from Jatropha curcas in west Africa: a field study. GCB Bioenergy 1: 197-210.

Openshaw, K. 2000. A review of Jatropha curcas: an oil plant of unfulfilled promise, Biomass and Bioenergy 19: 1-15.

Prueksakorn, K. and Gheewala, S.H. 2006. Energy and greenhouse gas implication of biodiesel production from Jatropha curcas L. Proceeding of the 2nd Joint International Conference on “Sustainable energy and environments (SEE 2006)”, Bangkok, Thailand, 1-6.

Prueksakorn, K.; Gheewala, S.H.; Malakul, P.; and Bonnet, S. 2010. Energy analysis of Jatropha plantation systems for biodiesel production in Thailand. Energy for Sustainable Development 14: 1-5.

Reinhardt, G.; Ghosh, P.K.; and Becker, K. 2008. Basic data for Jatropha production and use, IFEU/CSMCRI/University of Hohenheim, available at http://jatropha.pro/ PDF%20bestanden/en_jatropha-database-june-2008%5B2%5D.pdf [accessed on 19 September 2012]. 15 pages.

Trabucco, A.; Maes, W.H.; Achten, W.M.J.; and Muys, B. 2010. Global mapping of Jatropha curcas yield based on response of fitness to present and future climate. GCB Bioenergy 2: 139-151.

UNCTAD, 2006. The emerging biofuels market: regulatory, trade and development implication, UNCTAD, available at http://r0.unctad.org/ghg/events/biofuels/UNCTAD_DITC_TED_2006_4.Final.pdf [accessed on 18 October 2012]. 52 pages.

Wang, H.; Chen, Y.; Zhao, Y.; Liu, H.; Makkar, H.P S.; and Becker, K. 2011. Effects of replacing soybean meal by detoxified Jatropha curcas kernel meal in the diet of growing pigs on their growth, serum biochemical parameters and visceral organs. Animal Feed Science and Technology 170: 141–146.

Wang, Z.; Calderon, M.M.; and Lu, Y. 2011. Life cycle assessment of the economic, environmental and energy performance of Jatropha curcas L. biodiesel in China. Biomass and Bioenergy 35: 2893-2902.


Full Text: PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

COPYRIGHT of this Journal vests fully with the National Instional Institute of Ecology. Any commercial use of the content on this site in any form is legally prohibited.