Biorefinery Sustainability Analysis

Carla J. S. M. Silva, Remus Mihail Prunescu, Krist Gernaey, Gürkan Sin, Rocio A. Diaz-Chavez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


This chapter deals with sustainability analysis of biorefinery systems in terms of environmental and socio-economic indicators . Life cycle analysis has methodological issues related to the functional unit (FU), allocation , land use and biogenic carbon neutrality of the reference system and of the biorefinery-based system. Socio-economic criteria and indicators used in sustainability frameworks assessment are presented and discussed. There is not one single methodology that can aptly cover the synergies of environmental, economic, social and governance issues required to assess the sustainable production and use of bioenergy systems. The perfect metric for environmental issues is not yet established and some researchers prefer to avoid high levels of uncertainty in life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology and adopt more physically quantifying methods like the annual basis carbon (ABC) method presented here. In addition to establishing the perfect metric, there are three types of uncertainty when building scenarios with biorefinery-based systems that must be regarded to have a more holistic point of view. This uncertainty is at the level of the concept , of the configuration and of the operation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiorefineries - Targeting Energy, High Value Products
EditorsMiriam Rabaçal , Ana F. Ferreira, Carla A. M. Silva , Mário Costa
Publication date2017
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-48286-6
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-48288-0
Publication statusPublished - 2017
SeriesLecture Notes in Energy

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