Cost Analysis and Life-Cycle Environmental Impacts of Three Value-Added Novel Bioproducts: Processing and Production
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A life-cycle assessment framework was used to evaluate the environmental impacts associated with processing, producing, and marketing three novel value-added bioproducts, intended as substitutes for peat growing media and soil amendments, namely: dried composted forestry bark (DCFB); dehydrated topdressing (DTD); and organic bio-fertilizer (OBF). Total cost of processing and producing the final bioproducts ($ t−1) was highest for OBF and lowest for DCFB. Environmental and ecological impacts were quantified and compared using indicators commonly used in the scholarly literature to capture global warming, and human and eco-toxicity impacts. Global warming impacts (measured in terms of total CO2-equivalent of dehydrated final bioproduct) were highest for OBF, followed by DTD, and then DCFB. Among the human and eco-toxicity indicators considered, NO x emissions were highest, followed by SO2, and lowest for CO emissions, for all three bioproducts.
KeywordsEnvironmental impact indicators Value-added bioproducts Peat
Funding for this research from Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is gratefully acknowledged. The authors are also grateful to several staff at Envirem Organics Inc., New Brunswick, Canada, for providing technical information and data used in the research.
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