Carbon Footprint Evaluation of Biofertilizers

Carbon Footprint Evaluation of Biofertilizers

J. Havukainen V. Uusitalo K. Koistinen M. Liikanen M. Horttanainen 

Lappeenranta University of Technology, Department of Sustainability Science, P.O. Box 20, FI-53851, Lappeenranta, Finland

Page: 
1050-1060
|
DOI: 
https://doi.org/10.2495/SDP-V13-N8-1050-1060
Received: 
N/A
|
Accepted: 
N/A
|
Published: 
12 December 2018
| Citation

OPEN ACCESS

Abstract: 

The prevailing large-scale use of chemical fertilizers has been affecting environmental degradation. a broken nutrient cycle has caused problems worldwide, which are related to the question of how to feed 9 billion people by 2050 while limiting human operations within the planetary boundaries. Indispensable nutrients, phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N), often leak because of human activities, such as food production. efficient  nutrient recycling can alleviate the problem. This study focuses on biofertilizers as a solution for the problem of a broken nutrient cycle. The study quantified the environmental benefits of using biofertilizers by calculating the carbon footprints of P and N in organic fertilizers by using the life cycle assessment (lCa) method on an existing biogas plant. The emissions from common production processes are allocated between products and co-products. however, whether a side flow is regarded as a co-product or waste is sometimes unclear. according to ISO 14040 and the greenhouse gas (GhG) protocol, if a substance does not have a value or the holder intends to dispose it, it can be regarded as waste. allocation of emission can be done according to parameters such as energy content, mass, or monetary value. The composted digestate was considered valuable; the allocation between biogas and nutrients was conducted according to the value of biogas and recycled fertilizers.

The calculated carbon footprints were 0.8 kgCO2,eq./kg for N and 1.8 kgCO2,eq./kg for P, whereas the carbon footprints for mineral fertilizers were 1.9–7.8 kgCO2,eq./kg for N and 2.3–4.5 kgCO2,eq./kg for P. The reduction of GhG emission in organic fertilizer production in comparison with the emission in mineral fertilizer production was on average 78% for N and 41% for P. On the other hand, inclusion of N2O and Ch4  emissions from composting increases the carbon footprints of nitrogen and phosphorus but there is high uncertainty included with these emissions. The value of nutrients in the biofertilizers is also uncertain but the interest towards using of them is increasing in Finland.

Keywords: 

anaerobic digestion, biofertilizer, biogas, carbon footprint, compost, digestate

  References

[1] Chen, M. & Graedel, T.E., The potential for mining trace elements from phosphate rock. Journal of Cleaner Production, 91, pp. 337–346, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1016/j. jclepro.2014.12.042

[2] Malingreau, J.-P., Eva, H. & Maggio, A., NPK: Will There Be Enough Plant Nutrients to Feed a World of 9 billion in 2050? Joint Research Centre. Luxembourg, 2012.

[3] Owamah, H.I., Dahunsi, S.O., Oranusi, U.S. & Alfa, M.I., Fertilizer and sanitary quality of digestate biofertilizer from the co-digestion of food waste and human excreta. Waste Management, 34(4), pp. 747–752, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2014.01.017

[4] Rockström, J., Steffen, W., Noone, K., Persson, A., Chapin, F.S., Lambin, E.F., Lenton, T.M., Scheffer, M., Folke, C., Schellnhuber, H.J. & Nykvist, B. A safe operating space for humanity. Nature, 461(7263), pp. 472–475, 2009.

[5] Rockström, J., Steffen, W., Noone, K., Persson, Å., Stuart Chapin III, F., Lambin, E.F., Lenton, T.M., Scheffer, M., Folke, C., Schellnhuber, H.J. & Nykvist, B., Planetary Boundaries: Exploring the Safe Operating Space for Humanity. Ecology and Society, 14(32), 2009. https://doi.org/10.5751/es-03180-140232

[6] Cordell, D. & White, S., Peak phosphorus: clarifying the key issues of a vigorous debate about long-term phosphorus security. Sustainability, 3(10), pp. 2027–2049, 2011. https://doi.org/10.3390/su3102027

[7] Huang, H., Zhang, P., Zhang, Z., Liu, J., Xiao, J. & Gao, F., Simultaneous removal of ammonia nitrogen and recovery of phosphate from swine wastewater by struvite electrochemical precipitation and recycling technology. Journal of Cleaner Production, 127, pp. 302–310, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.04.002

[8] Gilbert, N., Environment: The disappearing nutrient. Nature, 461(7265), pp. 716–718, 2009. https://doi.org/10.1038/461716a

[9] Vitousek, P.M., Aber, J.D., Howarth, R.W., Likens, G.E., Matson, P.A., Schindler, D.W., Schlesinger, W.H. & Tilman, D.G., Human alteration of the global nitrogen cycle: Sources and consequences. Ecological Applications, 7(3), pp. 737–750, 1997. https://doi.org/10.1890/1051-0761(1997)007[0737:haotgn]2.0.co;2

[10] Kahiluoto, H., Kuisma, M., Kuokkanen, A., Mikkilä, M. & Linnanen, L., Taking planetary nutrient boundaries seriously: Can we feed the people? Global Food Security, 3(1), pp. 16–21, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gfs.2013.11.002

[11] ISO 14040, Environmental Management – Life Cycle Assessment – Principles and Framework, 2006.

[12] ISO 14044, Environmental Management – Life Cycle Assessment – Requirements and Guidelines, 2006.

[13] ISO 14067, Greenhouse Gases. Carbon Footprint of Products. Requirements and Guidelines for Quantification and Communication, 2014.

[14] Finnveden, G., Methodological aspects of life cycle assessment of integrated solid waste management systems. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 26(3–4), pp. 173–187, 1999. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0921-3449(99)00005-1

[15] Hagberg, L., Särnholm, E., Gode, J., Ekvall, T. & Rydberg, T., LCA Calculations on Swedish Wood Pellet Production Chains, IVL Report B1873. Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Stockholm, 2009.

[16] Laurent, A., Bakas, I., Clavreul, J., Bernstad, A., Niero, M., Gentil, E., Christensen, T.H. & Hauschild, M.Z., Review of LCA studies of solid waste management systems – Part I: Lessons learned and perspectives. Waste Management, 34(3), pp. 573–588, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2013.12.004

[17] Regional State Administrative Agency Eastern Finland. Environmental permit of Lahti Aqua Oy ISAVI/23/04.08 (in Finnish), 2011.

[18] Neste Ltd., Product data sheet – diesel for non-road use -5/-15, https://www.neste.fi/ static/datasheet_pdf/160360_fi.pdf (accessed on 12 June, 2018).

[19] Statistics Finland. Fuel Classification 2018. https://www.stat.fi/tup/khkinv/khkaasut_ polttoaineluokitus.html (accessed on 8 June, 2018).

[20] VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd., LIPASTO Unit Emissions Database, http://lipasto.vtt.fi/yksikkopaastot/indexe.htm (accessed on 8 June, 2018).

[21] Lahti Energy, Product declaration of produced electricity (in Finnish), www.lahtienergia.fi/fi/sahko/tietoa-sahkon-ostajalle/sahkon-tuoteseloste (accessed on 8 June, 2018).

[22] Vantaa Energy, The sources of the sold electricity in year 2016 (in Finnish), www.vantaanenergia.fi/me/sahkon-energialahdejakauma/ (accessed on 8 June, 2018).

[23] Thinkstep, GaBi ts – Software-System and Database for the Life Cycle Engineering, 2018.

[24] Boldrin, A., Andersen, J.K., Møller, J., Christensen, T.H. & Favoino, E., Composting and compost utilization: accounting of greenhouse gases and global warming contributions. Waste Management & Research: The Journal of the International Solid Wastes and Public Cleansing Association, ISWA, 27(8), pp. 800–812, 2009.

[25] Peek, C.J., Montfoort, J.A., Dröge, R., Guis, B., Baas, C., van Huet, B., van Hunnik, O.R. & van den Berghe, A.C.W.M., Methodology report on the calculation of emissions to air from the sectors Energy, Industry and Waste (Update 2016), as used by the Dutch Pollutant Release and Transfer Register. Bilthoven, 2017.

[26] Greenhouse Gas Protocol, Product life cycle accounting and reporting standard, 2011.

[27] European Union, Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC (23 April 2009), 2009.

[28] Kahiluoto, H. & Kuisma, M., Valorizing the sideflows of food industry supply chain into energy and fertilizers (in Finnish). Agrifood Research Finland, Jokioinen, 2010.

[29] Cemagro, Agro rapidly soluble fertilizers (in Finnish), www.cemagro.fi/fi/tilauslomake. html (accessed on 1 March, 2016).

[30] Natural Resources Institute Finland – Luke, Kasper – information about arable land cultivation, gardening and plant protection (in Finnish), https://portal.mtt.fi/portal/page/ portal/kasper/pelto/peltopalvelut/fosforilaskuri (accessed on 1 March, 2016).

[31] Raisio Ltd., RaisioAgro, https://kauppa.raisioagro.com/raisio_b2c/app/displayApp/(cpgsi ze=&uiarea=3&carea=0000000016&layout=7.01-7_1_68_63_70_6_9_3&cpgnum=1)/. do?resetfilter=true (accessed on 1 March, 2016).

[32] Yara, Carbon footprint – fertilizer products, www.yara.com/siteassets/sustainability/documents/yara-carbon-footprint-verification-statement.pdf/ (accessed on 8 June, 2018).

[33] Yara, Calculation of Carbon Footprint of Fertilizer Production, www.yara.com (accessed on 11 February, 2016).

[34] Brentrup, F. & Pallière, C., Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in European Nitrogen Fertilizer Production and Use, Fertilizers Europe: Brussels, 2014.

[35] Wood, S. & Cowie, A., A review of greenhouse gas emission factors for fertilizer production, IEA Bioenergy Task 38, 2004.

[36] Winnipeg, Winnipeg sewage treatment program South End plant Appendix 7 CO2 emission factors database, www.winnipeg.ca/finance/findata/matmgt/documents/2012/682-2012/682-2012_Appendix_H-WSTP_South_End_Plant_Process_Selection_Report/Appendix 7.pdf (accessed on 11 June, 2018).

[37] Biograze, Harmonized Calculations of Biofuel Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Europe. Additional Standard Values, www.biograce.net/home (accessed on 11 June, 2018).