Life Cycle Assessment of Sugarcane Growing Process in Fiji
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Sugarcane is an economically important crop in Fiji as it has considerable impact on the gross domestic product and around 22% (200,000) of the population is directly or indirectly dependent on the sugarcane industry. Considering the importance of this crop, a life cycle assessment (LCA) was performed in order to understand environmental impacts. In this paper, Fijian sugarcane production was assessed to produce a set of LCA results for defined impacts. The results can be used in subsequent assessments of sugarcane-related products and provide significant insights into the current impacts. Life cycle impact assessment results were generated using CML, ReCiPe and Impact 2002 + models running in Open LCA software using the Ecoinvent database. This connected the system flows and process flow to the product systems in order to calculate the life cycle impact assessment results to be based on local data for comparable and accurate evaluation. Previous analysis revealed that sugarcane production has a considerable impact on global warming potential because of the significant use of fossil fuels in farm machineries and transportation, and the production and use of agrochemicals. Results from this study show that sugarcane production has least impact on ozone layer depletion. Fertilizer production and usage was found to be one of the key issues affecting various impact categories. These results will assist further assessments on the sugarcane products and systems. However, in order to further develop the LCA tool for Fijian agricultural systems, development and testing of life cycle impact assessment models is necessary for Fijian conditions. This will ensure further accuracy of model outputs and supply more realistic and real-time results on emissions.
KeywordsLCA Climate change Global warming Environmental impacts CML
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