17 results found
Strapasson A, Oduor CO, Domeniconi B, 2021, Livestock Production, Life Cycle Assessment: A Metric for the Circular Economy, Editors: Borrion, Black, Mwabonje, London, Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry, Pages: 289-315, ISBN: 9781788014458
In this chapter, livestock production is assessed in the context of the circular economy (CE). It starts with an overview of livestock production chains, followed by two country-level case studies: a discussion on the sustainability of beef production in Brazil, which is currently the largest beef-exporting nation globally; and an assessment of carbon cycles of pasturelands in Kenya. We then present a description of a global simulation tool on behavioural changes in diets, land use and livestock yield by 2050. The global simulation tool is called the Global Calculator, and can generate multiple scenarios for land use, energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Thus, the chapter provides a systems view on livestock production, from local to global, with theoretical simulations and practical examples. The results show that sustainable meat production is dependent on several interconnected issues, requiring complex systems models to be properly assessed and understood. However, two relatively simple measures can be taken in order to reduce the environmental footprint of livestock production: a sustainable increase in livestock productivity along with a reduction in per capita meat consumption, especially in nations that already have high consumption levels. To this end, actions related to agricultural management, land multiuse, behavioural changes and animal welfare must be part of a policy agenda for climate change mitigation and environmental conservation worldwide.
Ni Y, Richter GM, Mwabonje ON, et al., 2020, Novel integrated agricultural land management approach provides sustainable biomass feedstocks for bioplastics and supports the UK’s “net-zero” target, Environmental Research Letters, ISSN: 1748-9326
Abstract. We investigate the potential in producing biodegradable bio-plastics to support the emergent 'Net-Zero' Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions targets in the UK. A 'cradle to grave' Life Cycle Assessment was developed to evaluate GHG mitigation potentials of bio-based polybutylene succinate plastics produced from wheat straw-only (single feedstock) or wheat straw plus Miscanthus (mixed feedstocks) agricultural supply systems. For scenarios using mixed feedstocks, significant carbon mitigation potentials were identified at catchment and national levels (emission reduction of 30 kg CO2eq /kg plastic compared to petroleum-based alternatives), making the system studied a significant net carbon sink at marginal GHG abatement costs of £-0.5 to 14.9 /t CO2eq. We show that an effective 'Net-Zero' transition of the UK's agricultural sector needs spatially explicit, diversified and integrated cropping strategies. Such integration of perennial bio-materials into food production systems can unlock cost-effective terrestrial carbon sequestration. Research & Development and scale-up will lower costs helping deliver a sustainable bioeconomy and transition to 'Net-Zero'.
Strapasson A, Woods J, Meessen J, et al., 2020, EU land use futures: modelling food, bioenergy and carbon dynamics, Energy Strategy Reviews, Vol: 31, Pages: 100545-100545, ISSN: 2211-467X
This paper presents an original system dynamics model, which aims to assess how changes in diet, agricultural practices, bioenergy and forestry could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We demonstrate that changes in types and quantities of food consumed and reductions in food wastes along with sustainable bioenergy and forestry dynamics would materially assist the EU in meeting its 2050 climate mitigation obligations. We find that overall rates of EU-28 greenhouse gas emissions are highly sensitive to the food trade balance, both within and outside the EU. Land use itself is often under-represented as a major option for carbon mitigation in policy strategies, but our results show that it must become a central component aligned with energy system decarbonization if material levels of warming mitigation are to be achieved.
Strapasson A, Mwabonje O, Woods J, et al., 2020, Pathways towards a fair and just net-zero emissions Europe by 2050: Insights from the EUCalc for carbon mitigation strategies, Publisher: European Commission, 9
HEADLINES:• Achieving socially just and sustainable transition to a net-zero emissions Europe by 2050 requires urgent and substantive changes in the use of technology and the behavioural choices of its people. • These changes will be pervasive, covering all sectors of the economy, from transport, manufacturing, agriculture and power generation. The choices we make as individuals and as national governments of services and goods we produce and consume, e.g. the foods we grow and eat, the sizes of our households and how we heat and cool them, our mobility and in our trading relationships with the rest of the world, are key determinants of successfully meeting the climate challenge. • It is possible to achieve a net-zero greenhouse gas emission in Europe by 2050, in time to meet global climate targets, but it requires unprecedented levels of innovations in technologies and in the adoption of sustainable lifestyles, diets and land use. • Avoiding confounding carbon leakage: the international trade balance (imports vs. exports) in the EU has and will continue to have a significant impact on internal EU and external (rest of the world) greenhouse gas emissions, materially affecting the EU’s timeline to achieving net zero and globally effective climate mitigation.• Policies that support the accelerated decoupling of economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions are needed along with incentives for the rest of the world to decarbonise if confounding leakage is to be avoided. • No single sector can, by itself, materially reduce or sequester greenhouse gases; however, actions affecting the carbon stocks on land and the greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are urgently required. • Systemic changes at personal, local, national and regional levels are all important and publicly acceptable policies for transitioning to a net-zero emissions society are fundamental in order to meet the EU climate change targets. • Tools, such as th
Baudry G, Mwabonje O, Strapasson A, et al., 2020, Mitigating GHG Emissions through Agriculture and Sustainable Land Use: An Overview on the EUCalc Food & Land Module, www.european-calculator.eu, Publisher: European Commission, 5
HEADLINES:• Several options are available for evaluating potential agriculture and land use interventions by 2050, including: climate smart production systems for crops, livestock and forestry products, land management, alternative protein sources for livestock, bioenergy, and the management of organic wastes and residues.• Agriculture and land use can either help mitigate GHG emissions through enhancing the net land carbon sink or exacerbate emissions by emitting more GHGs than are taken up overtime.• With combined action at the highest levels of mitigation ambition in the food (supply and demand) and agricultural sectors, we estimate that over 1 000 Million tonnes of CO2 removals per year could be generated by 2050. This would require systemic, sustained and transformative change in the levels of technological and behavioural innovation applied in all EU Member States. • Changes in diet are a significant driver that enable and/or disable the range and extent of the sustainable mitigation options for the agricultural production system. Agroecology is a suitable option for the European agriculture production system, only when a dietary shift occurs that reduces demand for high emission agricultural products. • Agricultural intensification can ‘free up’ the land needed, expanding forests and grasslands, but there are inherent limits for achieving sustainable intensification without causing major impacts on animal welfare, biodiversity and natural resources such as water and plant nutrients.• The EU international food trade balance (imports vs. exports) has and will continue to have a significant impact on land use dynamics inside and outside Europe. • Climate change mitigation efforts on Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) and sustainable biomass provision are fundamental components in achieving a net zero-emission pathway, when carefully implemented along with ambitious levels of mitigation in the transport
Mwabonje O, Black MJ, Borrion AL, et al., 2019, Life Cycle Assessment of biofuels and green commodity chemicals, Green Energy to Sustainability: Strategies for Global Industries, Editors: Vertes, Qureshi, Blaschek, Yukawa, Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Chichester, UK., ISBN: 9781119152026
Ni Y, Mwabonje ON, Richter GM, et al., 2019, Assessing availability and greenhouse gas emissions of lignocellulosic biomass feedstock supply - case study for a catchment in England, Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, Vol: 13, Pages: 568-581, ISSN: 1932-104X
Feedstocks from lignocellulosic biomass (LCB) include crop residues and dedicated perennial biomass crops. The latter are often considered superior in terms of climate change mitigation potential. Uncertainty remains over their availability as feedstocks for biomass provision and the net greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) during crop production. Our objective was to assess the optimal land allocation to wheat and Miscanthus in a specific case study located in England, to increase biomass availability, improve the carbon balance (and reduce the consequent GHG emissions), and minimally constrain grain production losses from wheat. Using soil and climate variables for a catchment in east England, biomass yields and direct nitrogen emissions were simulated with validated process‐based models. A ‘Field to up‐stream factory gate’ life‐cycle assessment was conducted to estimate indirect management‐related GHG emissions. Results show that feedstock supply from wheat straw can be supplemented beneficially with LCB from Miscanthus grown on selected low‐quality soils. In our study, 8% of the less productive arable land area was dedicated to Miscanthus, increasing total LCB provision by about 150%, with a 52% reduction in GHG emission per ton LCB delivered and only a minor effect on wheat grain production (−3%). In conclusion, even without considering the likely carbon sequestration in impoverished soils, agriculture should embrace the opportunities to provide the bioeconomy with LCB from dedicated, perennial crops.
Chandra VV, Hemstock SL, Mwabonje ON, et al., 2018, Life cycle assessment of sugarcane growing process in Fiji, Sugar Tech, Vol: 20, Pages: 692-699, ISSN: 0972-1525
Sugarcane is an economically important crop in Fiji as it has considerable impact on the gross domestic product and around 22% (200,000) of the population is directly or indirectly dependent on the sugarcane industry. Considering the importance of this crop, a life cycle assessment (LCA) was performed in order to understand environmental impacts. In this paper, Fijian sugarcane production was assessed to produce a set of LCA results for defined impacts. The results can be used in subsequent assessments of sugarcane-related products and provide significant insights into the current impacts. Life cycle impact assessment results were generated using CML, ReCiPe and Impact 2002 + models running in Open LCA software using the Ecoinvent database. This connected the system flows and process flow to the product systems in order to calculate the life cycle impact assessment results to be based on local data for comparable and accurate evaluation. Previous analysis revealed that sugarcane production has a considerable impact on global warming potential because of the significant use of fossil fuels in farm machineries and transportation, and the production and use of agrochemicals. Results from this study show that sugarcane production has least impact on ozone layer depletion. Fertilizer production and usage was found to be one of the key issues affecting various impact categories. These results will assist further assessments on the sugarcane products and systems. However, in order to further develop the LCA tool for Fijian agricultural systems, development and testing of life cycle impact assessment models is necessary for Fijian conditions. This will ensure further accuracy of model outputs and supply more realistic and real-time results on emissions.
Patel MK, Bechu A, Villegas JD, et al., 2018, Second-generation bio-based plastics are becoming a reality – Non-renewable energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) balance of succinic acidbased plastic end products made from lignocellulosic biomass, Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, Vol: 12, Pages: 426-441, ISSN: 1932-104X
Bio-based and bio-degradable plastics such as polybutylene succinate (PBS) have the potential to become sustainable alternatives to petrochemical-based plastics. Polybutylene succinate can be produced from bio-based succinic acid and 1,4-butanediol using first-generation (1G) or second-generation (2G) sugars. A cradle-to-grave environmental assessment was performed for PBS products in Europe to investigate the non-renewable energy use (NREU) and greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts. The products investigated are single-use trays and agricultural film, with incineration, industrial composting and degradation on agricultural land as end-of-life scenarios. Both end products manufactured from fully bio-based PBS and from partly bio-based PBS (made from bio-based succinic acid and fossil fuel-based 1,4 butanediol) were analysed. We examine corn (1G) as well as corn stover, wheat straw, miscanthus and hardwood as 2G feedstocks. For the cradle-to-grave system, 1G fully bio-based PBS plastic products were found to have environmental impacts comparable with their petrochemical incumbents, while 2G fully bio-based PBS plastic products allow to reduce NREU and GHG by around one third under the condition of avoidance of concentration of sugars and energy integration of the pretreatment process with monomer production. Without energy integration and with concentration of sugars (i.e., separate production), the impacts of 2G fully bio-based PBS products are approximately 15–20% lower than those of 1G fully bio-based PBS products. The environmental analysis of PBS products supports the value proposition related to PBS products while also pointing out areas requiring further research and development.
Ni Y, Mwabonje O, Richter GM, et al., 2017, Integrating Miscanthus into Arable System to Secure Sustainable Feedstock Supply for Lignocellulosic Succinic Acid Production, 25th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (EUBCE)
Ni Y, Mwabonje O, Richter MR, et al., 2016, Assessing Availability and Environmental Impacts of Lignocellulosic Feedstock Supply - Case Study for a Catchment in England, International Bioenergy Conference and Exhibition (IBCE)
Wiltshire J, Mortimer N, Mwabonje O, et al., 2011, Improving estimates of life cycle nitrous oxide emissions from crop based food products, 8th International Conference on LCA in the Agri-Food Sector
Mwabonje ON, Jiang J-Q, 2010, A Trial of Using Solvent Extraction for Phosphorus Recovery, Journal of Water Resource and Protection, Vol: 02, Pages: 830-838, ISSN: 1945-3094
Jiang J-Q, Mwabonje O, 2009, Phosphorus Recovery by Liquid–Liquid Extraction, Separation Science and Technology, Vol: 44, Pages: 3258-3266, ISSN: 0149-6395
Jiang JQ, Mwabonje O, 2008, Liquid-liquid Extraction process for Phosphorus Recovery, 11th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology
Jiang JQ, Xu YL, Mwabonje O, 2008, Removing Algae with Electro-Coagulation Flotation, Ecological Management New Research, Publisher: Nova Science Pub Incorporated, ISBN: 9781604567861
This book presents the latest research in the field.
Mwabonje O, Jiang JQ, 2006, Phosphorus recovery with liquid-ion exchange for a small wastewater treatment system, IWA 7th Specialised Conference on Small Water and Wastewater Systems
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