BioEnergy Research

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 753–764

Energy Requirements and Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Maize Production in the USA


DOI: 10.1007/s12155-013-9399-z

Cite this article as:
Kim, S., Dale, B.E. & Keck, P. Bioenerg. Res. (2014) 7: 753. doi:10.1007/s12155-013-9399-z


This meta-study quantitatively and qualitatively compares 21 published life cycle assessment (LCA)-type studies for energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of maize production in the USA. Differences between the methodologies and numerical results obtained are described. Nonrenewable energy consumption in maize production (from cradle-to-farm gate) ranges from 1.44 to 3.50 MJ/kg of maize, and GHG emissions associated with maize production range from −27 to 436 g CO2 equivalent/kg of maize. Large variations between studies exist within the input data for lime application, fuels purchased, and life cycle inventory data for fertilizer and agrochemical production. Although most studies use similar methodological approaches, major differences between studies include the following: (1) impacts associated with human labor and farm machinery production, (2) changes in carbon dioxide emissions resulting from soil organic carbon levels, and (3) indirect N2O emissions.


Maize Greenhouse gas emissions Life cycle assessment Nonrenewable energy 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research CenterMichigan State UniversityLansingUSA
  2. 2.Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials ScienceMichigan State UniversityLansingUSA
  3. 3.National Corn Growers AssociationChesterfieldUSA

Personalised recommendations