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  • Titill er á ensku Uncovering the Potential for Emission Mitigation: A Life Cycle Assessment of Manure at a Dairy Farm in Iceland, Highlighting the Environmental Advantages of Biogas Capture and Utilization
  • Meistara
  • Agriculture is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide, accounting for 9,3 billion tons CO2 eq in 2018 or around 17% of global GHG emissions from all sectors. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, food production, which includes livestock production, contributes to around 14% of global GHG emissions. Several factors contribute to GHG emissions in the food production system such as deforestation for agricultural land, methane emissions in the form of enteric methane and manure methane, nitrous oxide emissions from synthetic fertilizers and manure management, and the energy-intensive processes involved in food processing, transportation, and storage. Capturing Biogas provides opportunities not only to reduce emission impacts from the sector but also to lower energy costs and push for sustainability. In this thesis a Life Cycle Assessment was conducted to understand the environmental impacts associated with dairy and beef production in Iceland and to be able to compare present practices to potential future practices that include capture and usage of biogas on farm. Many LCA studies primarily concentrate on measuring GHG emissions, but research indicates that it is important to consider factors beyond just GHG emissions. To provide a more comprehensive analysis of environmental impacts, it is crucial to establish a baseline for comparison, and this study contributes to that effort.
    In the study SimaPro Flow Classroom software along with ecoinvent 3.9.1 Cut-off inventory database was used to calculate the environmental impacts using ReCiPe 2016 impact assessment method. The functional unit was “one year production of manure stored at Flatey dairy farm in the reference year 2020”. The results are assessed for the unit of 1m3 of manure. The GHG emissions of Flatey dairy farm in 2020 was 4,7x109 kg CO2/eq. However, in that year, if capture of biogas would have been implemented and used on machinery at the farm the total GHG emissions over one operational year would have been 5,6x108 kg CO2/eq per year. That is a reduction of about 84%. This study also assessed other environmental impacts beyond GHG emissions, such as terrestrial ecotoxicity, fossil resource scarcity and mineral resource scarcity.

  • 17.5.2024

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