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Sustainability 2011, 3(3), 518-530; doi:10.3390/su3030518
Article

Sustainability Assessment of a Biorefinery Complex in Thailand

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Received: 1 February 2011; in revised form: 16 February 2011 / Accepted: 28 February 2011 / Published: 21 March 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment)
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Abstract: In this paper, a biorefinery complex in Thailand was assessed vis-à-vis sustainability. The complex studied includes plantations of sugarcane and a biorefinery system composed of several units including, a sugar mill, power plant, ethanol factory and fertilizer plant. The assessment aimed at evaluating the environmental and socio-economic implications relating to molasses-based ethanol production and use, and maximized utilization of the biomass materials produced as part of the biorefinery complex. Global warming potential, human development index and total value added are the three indicators that were selected to perform the assessment. The results obtained revealed that the maximization of biomass utilization at the level of the biorefinery complex provide greenhouse gases emissions reduction benefits, enhanced living conditions for sugarcane farmers and employees of the biorefinery, and economic benefits, particularly with regard to profit and income generation. These results could serve as a first step to further improve and design indicators for sustainability assessment of biomass utilization.
Keywords: sustainability; biorefinery; Thailand sustainability; biorefinery; Thailand
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gheewala, S.H.; Bonnet, S.; Prueksakorn, K.; Nilsalab, P. Sustainability Assessment of a Biorefinery Complex in Thailand. Sustainability 2011, 3, 518-530.

AMA Style

Gheewala SH, Bonnet S, Prueksakorn K, Nilsalab P. Sustainability Assessment of a Biorefinery Complex in Thailand. Sustainability. 2011; 3(3):518-530.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gheewala, Shabbir H.; Bonnet, Sébastien; Prueksakorn, Kritana; Nilsalab, Pariyapat. 2011. "Sustainability Assessment of a Biorefinery Complex in Thailand." Sustainability 3, no. 3: 518-530.


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