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Open AccessArticle

Environmental Impacts of the Beef Production Chain in the Northeast of Portugal Using Life Cycle Assessment

1
Mountain Research Centre (CIMO), ESA, Polytechnique Institute of Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, 5301-855 Bragança, Portugal
2
Department of Environmental Engineering, Federal University of Technology, Av. Pioneiros 3131, 86036-370 Londrina, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agriculture 2018, 8(10), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8100165
Received: 21 September 2018 / Revised: 15 October 2018 / Accepted: 17 October 2018 / Published: 19 October 2018
The beef supply chain has multiple negative impacts on the environment. A method widely used to measure impacts from both the use of resources and the emissions generated by this sector is the life cycle assessment (LCA) (ISO 14040). This study aimed to evaluate a semi-intensive system (SIS) and an extensive organic system (EOS), combined with two different slaughterhouses located in the northeast of Portugal. The studied slaughterhouses are similar in size but differ in number of slaughters and in sources of thermal energy: natural gas (Mng) vs. biomass pellets (Mp). Four categories of environmental impact were evaluated: global warming potential (GWP), acidification potential (AP), eutrophication potential (EP), and photochemical ozone creation potential (POCP). As expected, higher impacts were found for SIS for all studied impact categories. Slaughterhouse activities, fertilizer production, and solid waste treatment stages showed little contribution when compared to animal production. Concerning the slaughterhouses activities, the main sources of environmental impact were the use of energy (electric and thermal) and by-products transportation. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal production systems; environmental footprint; LCA; slaughterhouses; sustainability animal production systems; environmental footprint; LCA; slaughterhouses; sustainability
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Presumido, P.H.; Sousa, F.; Gonçalves, A.; Dal Bosco, T.C.; Feliciano, M. Environmental Impacts of the Beef Production Chain in the Northeast of Portugal Using Life Cycle Assessment. Agriculture 2018, 8, 165.

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