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Open AccessArticle

Energy Life-Cycle Assessment of Fruit Products—Case Study of Beira Interior’s Peach (Portugal)

1
Department of Electromechanical Engineering, University of Beira Interior, Rua Marquês d’Ávila e Bolama, 6201-001 Covilhã, Portugal
2
C-MAST—Centre for Mechanical and Aerospace Science and Technologies, 6201-001 Covilhã, Portugal
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Agriculture School, Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco, 6001-909 Castelo Branco, Portugal
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Centro de Recursos Naturais, Ambiente e Sociedade (CERNAS), Escola Superior Agrária de Coimbra, Bencanta, 3045-601 Coimbra, Portugal
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Agrofood Technological Center, Castelo Branco, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3530; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103530
Received: 8 August 2018 / Revised: 24 September 2018 / Accepted: 26 September 2018 / Published: 1 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy Systems: From Primary to End-Use)
Currently, there is a growing demand for cleaner and sustainable technologies due to environmental issues. In this sense, there is a necessity to manage the assessment of production processes and the rationalization of energy consumption. In this study, an Energy Life-Cycle Assessment (ELCA) was carried out through energy efficiency indicators, directed to the characterization and renewability of the peach production system life-cycle in the Portuguese region of Beira Interior. The study intends to investigate the non-renewable energy inputs from fossil fuels, as well as the emissions resulting from machinery. In addition, warehouse energy inputs are analyzed, mainly cooling systems of refrigerated chambers where fruits are preserved. This analysis aims to find opportunities for technological, environmental and best practices improvements. Test scenarios were analyzed and revealing soil groundcover maintenance is the operation with the largest impact in the energy consumption of the production process (3176 MJ·ha−1). In the post-harvest processes, the energy consumption largest impact is given by the warehouse’s operations (35,700 MJ·ha−1), followed by transportation (6180 MJ·ha−1). Concerning the emissions resulting from the fuels consumption, the largest impact is due to the plantation machinery and the transportation from warehouse to retailers. View Full-Text
Keywords: peach; Energy Life-Cycle Assessment; post-harvest peach; Energy Life-Cycle Assessment; post-harvest
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Pires Gaspar, J.; Dinis Gaspar, P.; Dinho da Silva, P.; Simões, M.P.; Santo, C.E. Energy Life-Cycle Assessment of Fruit Products—Case Study of Beira Interior’s Peach (Portugal). Sustainability 2018, 10, 3530.

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