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Open AccessArticle

LCA of 1,4-Butanediol Produced via Direct Fermentation of Sugars from Wheat Straw Feedstock within a Territorial Biorefinery

1
Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Napoli Federico II, Napoli 80126, Italy
2
Dipartimento di Biotecnologie, Chimica e Farmacia, Università di Siena, Siena 53100, Italy
3
Laboratorio di Urbanistica e di Pianificazione del Territorio (LUPT), Università di Napoli Federico II, Napoli 80138, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Susana C.M. Fernandes
Materials 2016, 9(7), 563; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9070563
Received: 19 May 2016 / Revised: 30 June 2016 / Accepted: 4 July 2016 / Published: 12 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Functionalization of Lignocellulosic Materials)
The bio-based industrial sector has been recognized by the European Union as a priority area toward sustainability, however, the environmental profile of bio-based products needs to be further addressed. This study investigated, through the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach, the environmental performance of bio-based 1,4-butanediol (BDO) produced via direct fermentation of sugars from wheat straw, within a hypothetical regional biorefinery (Campania Region, Southern Italy). The aim was: (i) to identify the hotspots along the production chain; and (ii) to assess the potential environmental benefits of this bio-based polymer versus the reference conventional product (fossil-based BDO). Results identified the prevailing contribution to the total environmental load of bio-based BDO in the feedstock production and in the heat requirement at the biorefinery plant. The modeled industrial bio-based BDO supply chain, showed a general reduction of the environmental impacts compared to the fossil-based BDO. The lowest benefits were gained in terms of acidification and eutrophication, due to the environmental load of the crop phase for feedstock cultivation. View Full-Text
Keywords: 1,4-butanediol; LCA; bio-based chemicals; renewable feedstocks; biotechnology; climate change; environmental impacts 1,4-butanediol; LCA; bio-based chemicals; renewable feedstocks; biotechnology; climate change; environmental impacts
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Forte, A.; Zucaro, A.; Basosi, R.; Fierro, A. LCA of 1,4-Butanediol Produced via Direct Fermentation of Sugars from Wheat Straw Feedstock within a Territorial Biorefinery. Materials 2016, 9, 563.

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