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Sustainability 2014, 6(8), 4966-4974; doi:10.3390/su6084966

Energy Requirement of Extra Virgin Olive Oil Production

1
Department of Economics, University of Foggia, Foggia 71121, Italy
2
Department of Economics, Business, Environment and Quantitative Methods (SEAM), University of Messina, Messina 98122, Italy
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 July 2014 / Accepted: 30 July 2014 / Published: 5 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environment and Energy: the Industrial Ecology perspective)
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Abstract

The scope of this chapter is to calculate the net energy of the production chain for virgin olive oil. Therefore, the determination was carried out for the direct and indirect energy inputs and the energy present as feedstock in the outputs (products and by-products). To perform this analysis, all of the production processes for olives and for oil extraction were studied. For the agricultural phase, three systems of cultivation were taken into consideration: the centenary olive grove (COO), the “intensive” olive grove (HDO) and, the more recently introduced, “super-intensive” olive grove (HSDO). The last two models are distinguished by the high number of trees per hectare and by an intense mechanization of agricultural practices. Regarding the oil extraction phase, four different technologies were compared: the pressure system (PS), the two-phase system (2PS), the three-phase (3PS), and the system, called “de-pitted”, which provides for the separation of the pits before the oil is extracted (DPS). The analysis showed that the production of olives needs more than 90% of energy requirements, much of which is met by non-renewable sources of energy. The production of fertilizers, and also irrigation, are the production factors that require a considerable amount of energy. Among the three agricultural systems analyzed, the COO system of cultivation is the one that requires less energy as compared to the other systems. The scenario that enables the most energy return, however, is the SHDO system of cultivation, due to the greater amount of pruning residues that can be obtained. View Full-Text
Keywords: olive oil chain; energy demand; net energy; life cycle thinking olive oil chain; energy demand; net energy; life cycle thinking
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Cappelletti, G.M.; Ioppolo, G.; Nicoletti, G.M.; Russo, C. Energy Requirement of Extra Virgin Olive Oil Production. Sustainability 2014, 6, 4966-4974.

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