Is Biochar from Pyrolysis, Composting or its Combination Best to Recycle Nutrients and Reduce Environmental Impact? Results from a Life Cycle Assessment for 5 Case Studies Across Europe

N. Sikirica, T.L. Oldfield, C. Mondini, N.M. Holden, P.J. Kuikman, G. Lopez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract

Abstract

The goal of this study was to assess the potential environmental impact of producing organic fertiliser by recycling organic materials via composting (compost) and pyrolysis (biochar), as well its combination (compost-biochar blend).
Application of the processed residues to agricultural soils, including the end-of-life phase were taken into account as well. Our data were sourced from experiments at five locations in three countries: one in Spain, three in Italy and one in Belgium. Three environmental impact categories were analysed (Global Warming Potential, Acidification Potential, and Eutrophication Potential) by applying a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method. The impacts, expressed per kg of crop, were compared against mineral fertiliser (control/business-as-usual). Our study is the first study that carried out a full analysis on biochar, on compost and on compost-biochar blend from a LCA perspective and relate the
alternative practice to the standard practice of applying mineral/synthetic fertilizers. The results showed that the compost-biochar blend scored as best in the overall ranking, while there were some differences per location. The
results of this study are useful for policy makers at EU, national, regional and municipal level.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEUBCE 2016 24th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition
Subtitle of host publicationBook of abstracts summaries, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 06 - 09 June 2016
Pages354-354
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventEUBCE 2016: 24th European Biomass Conference and Exibition - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 6 Jun 20169 Jun 2016

Conference

ConferenceEUBCE 2016
CountryNetherlands
CityAmsterdam
Period6/06/169/06/16

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    Sikirica, N., Oldfield, T. L., Mondini, C., Holden, N. M., Kuikman, P. J., & Lopez, G. (2016). Is Biochar from Pyrolysis, Composting or its Combination Best to Recycle Nutrients and Reduce Environmental Impact? Results from a Life Cycle Assessment for 5 Case Studies Across Europe. In EUBCE 2016 24th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition: Book of abstracts summaries, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 06 - 09 June 2016 (pp. 354-354)