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Energies 2016, 9(11), 922;

Biomass Residues to Renewable Energy: A Life Cycle Perspective Applied at a Local Scale

Department of Industrial Chemistry “Toso Montanari”, ALMA Mater Studiorum—University of Bologna, Viale del Risorgimento 4, 40136 Bologna, Italy
Environmental management and consulting (EMC) Innovation Lab S.r.l., Viale Italia 29, 47921 Rimini, Italy
Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca Industriale “Energia e Ambiente”, Via Angherà 22, 47900 Rimini, Italy
Consorzio Azienda Multiservizi Intercomunale (Con.Ami), 40026 Imola, Italy
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Maurizio Sasso and Carlo Roselli
Received: 21 June 2016 / Revised: 7 October 2016 / Accepted: 1 November 2016 / Published: 8 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy Technologies for Small Scale Applications)
PDF [1977 KB, uploaded 8 November 2016]


Italy, like every country member of the European Union (EU), will have to achieve the objectives required by the Energy Roadmap 2050. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the environmental impacts of residue recovery arising from the management of public and private green feedstocks, activity of the cooperative “Green City” in the Bologna district, and usage in a centralized heating system to produce thermal energy for public buildings. Results, obtained using the ReCipe impact assessment method, are compared with scores achieved by a traditional methane boiler. The study shows some advantages of the biomass-based system in terms of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions and consumption of non-renewable fuels, which affect climate change (−41%) and fossil resources depletion (−40%), compared to the use of natural gas (NG). Moreover, scores from network analysis denote the great contribution of feedstock transportation (98% of the cumulative impact). The main reason is attributable to all requirements to cover distances, in particular due to stages involved in the fuel supply chains. Therefore, it is clear that greater environmental benefits could be achieved by reducing supply transport distances or using more sustainable engines. View Full-Text
Keywords: life cycle assessment (LCA); thermal energy; recovery; energy efficient city; small community life cycle assessment (LCA); thermal energy; recovery; energy efficient city; small community

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Neri, E.; Cespi, D.; Setti, L.; Gombi, E.; Bernardi, E.; Vassura, I.; Passarini, F. Biomass Residues to Renewable Energy: A Life Cycle Perspective Applied at a Local Scale. Energies 2016, 9, 922.

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