Life Cycle Assessment of fossil energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in Chinese pear production

Yuexian Liu, Vibeke Langer, Henning Høgh Jensen, Henrik Egelyng

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was performed to analyze environmental consequences of different pear production chains in terms of fossil energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission in China. The assessment identified hotspots that contributed significantly to the environmental impacts of pear production from the cradle to the point of sale. The results showed that GHG emissions and fossil energy use varied in the different production chains because the environmental performance does not associate with the farming systems (i.e. organic vs. conventional), but is co-determined by farm topography and thus machinery use, by market demands to seasonality of products and thus the need for storage, and by local farming practices including manure management. The LCA could be used as a tool to guide selections of agricultural inputs with the aim of reducing environmental impacts. The results of the LCA analysis indicate that a list of choices are available to reduce energy use and GHG emission in the pear production chain, namely substitution of the traditional storage systems by an efficiently controlled atmosphere storage system, using manure for biogas production, conversion from the conventional farming to organic farming, and reduction of mechanical cultivation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume18
Issue number14
Pages (from-to)1423-1430
ISSN0959-6526
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Pear production chain
  • Life Cycle Assessment
  • Organic farming
  • GHG emission
  • Fossil energy use

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