An improved model for estimating pesticide emissions for agricultural LCA

Teunis Johannes Dijkman, Morten Birkved, Michael Zwicky Hauschild

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    Credible quantification of chemical emissions in the inventory phase of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is crucial since chemicals are the dominating cause of the human and ecotoxicity-related environmental impacts in Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA). When applying LCA for assessment of agricultural products, off-target pesticide emissions need to be quantified as accurately as possible because of the considerable toxicity effects associated with chemicals designed to have a high impact on biological organisms like for example insects or weed plants. PestLCI was developed to estimate the fractions of the applied pesticide that is emitted from a field to the surrounding environmental compartments: air, surface water, and ground water. However, the applicability of the model has been limited to 1 typical Danish soil type and 1 climatic profile obtained from the national Danish meteorological station. To overcome these limitations, a reworked and updated version of PestLCI is presented here. The new model includes 16 European climate types and 6 mean European soil characteristic profiles covering all dominant European soil types to widen the geographical scope and to allow contemporary (varying site and or climate condition) and future (change climate condition of a location) differentiation. In addition, the tillage frequency is now incorporated as an input parameter. The tillage frequency has an impact on the soil permeability through its relation to the occurring frequency of macro pores in the top soil, and thus the initial leaching rate of pesticide through preferential flow. A third improvement of the updated model is a simplified user interface which makes the model easier to evaluate and operate. The updated PestLCI model is demonstrated on cases involving different climatic circumstances and locations presenting the resulting variations in pesticide emission patterns.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSETAC Europe 21st Annual Meeting Abstract Book
    Number of pages233
    Publication date2011
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    EventSETAC Europe 21st Annual Meeting: Ecosystem Protection in a Sustainable World: A Challenge for Science and Regulation - Milano Convention Centre, Milano, Italy
    Duration: 15 May 201119 May 2011
    Conference number: 21


    ConferenceSETAC Europe 21st Annual Meeting
    LocationMilano Convention Centre
    Internet address


    Dive into the research topics of 'An improved model for estimating pesticide emissions for agricultural LCA'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this