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Sustainability Assessment of Bioenergy Systems

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2023) | Viewed by 6227

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Research Fellow 'Talent Attraction Program' at Chemical and Environmental Engineering Group, Rey Juan Carlos University, E-28933 Móstoles, Spain
Interests: life cycle assessment; data envelopment analysis; sustainability assessment; multi-criteria decision analysis; social life cycle assessment; energy systems modelling
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Environment and Planning/CESAM (Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies), University of Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Interests: Life cycle thinking tools

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Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Environment and Planning/CESAM (Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies), University of Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Interests: life cycle assessment; water footprint; carbon footprint; life cycle sustainability assessment; industry ecology; energy systems modelling
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Assistant Guest Editor
Systems Analysis Unit, IMDEA Energy, Av. Ramón de la Sagra 3, E-28935 Móstoles, Spain
Interests: data envelopment analysis; energy systems modelling; life cycle assessment; life cycle costing; multi-criteria decision analysis; sustainability assessment
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The effects of climate change and the continuous depletion of fossil fuels require a change in the global economy based on the use of renewable resources. The implementation of systems based on the production, supply, and processing of biomass can boost that change, reducing the impacts on the environment and ensuring the conservation of finite resources of the Earth. Thus, the concept of bioeconomy emerges as a suitable opportunity to link economic growth with sustainable development, contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Bioenergy currently accounts for around 10% of the world’s total primary energy supply, with a rapid growth in the use of biomass for the production of electricity and transportation fuels. However, the heating sector remains the largest and most traditional energy use of biomass. It is pivotal to increase the current rate of bioenergy deployment with the aim of paving the way towards a low carbon economy and society. Furthermore, robust methodological procedures that guarantee the sustainability performance of bioenergy systems are required. The purpose of this Special Issue is to publish original research, case studies or reviews focused on the advanced analysis of bioenergy systems under sustainability aspects. The research studies submitted can address the evaluation of a well-defined bioenergy system, from feedstock (raw or waste) to energy products (conversion of biomass feedstock into electricity, heat, fuels and/or novel bio-based products), as well as the evaluation or roadmapping of strategies for sustainable bioenergy deployment. The studies should cover sustainability aspects from at least two different sustainability dimensions (techno-economic, environmental, and/or social aspects). The methodological frameworks of interest include (but are not limited to): life-cycle approaches (e.g., life cycle assessment, life cycle costing, social life cycle assessment, and life cycle sustainability assessment), multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA), and energy planning.

Dr. Mario Martín-Gamboa
Dr. Ana Cláudia Dias
Dr. Paula Quinteiro
Dr. Diego Iribarren
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 1116 KiB  
Article
Sustainability Assessment of Combined Animal Fodder and Fuel Production from Microalgal Biomass
by Benjamin W. Portner, Antonio Valente and Sandy Guenther
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(21), 11351; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111351 - 28 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1981
Abstract
We present a comparative environmental and social life cycle assessment (ELCA and SLCA) of algal fuel and fodder co-production (AF + fodder) versus algal fuel and energy co-production (AF + energy). Our ELCA results indicate that fodder co-production offers an advantage in the [...] Read more.
We present a comparative environmental and social life cycle assessment (ELCA and SLCA) of algal fuel and fodder co-production (AF + fodder) versus algal fuel and energy co-production (AF + energy). Our ELCA results indicate that fodder co-production offers an advantage in the following categories: climate change (biogenic, land use and land use change, total), ecotoxicity, marine eutrophication, ionizing radiation, photochemical ozone creation, and land use. By contrast, the AF + energy system yields lower impacts in the other 11 out of 19 Environmental Footprint impact categories. Only AF + fodder offers greenhouse gas reduction compared to petroleum diesel (−25%). Our SLCA results indicate that AF + fodder yields lower impacts in the following categories: fair salaries, forced labor, gender wage gap, health expenditure, unemployment, and violation of employment laws and regulations. AF + energy performs favorably in the other three out of nine social indicators. We conclude that the choice of co-products has a strong influence on the sustainability of algal fuel production. Despite this, none of the compared systems are found to yield a consistent advantage in the environmental or social dimension. It is, therefore, not possible to recommend a co-production strategy without weighing environmental and social issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Assessment of Bioenergy Systems)
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15 pages, 8660 KiB  
Article
Comparative Social Life Cycle Assessment of Two Biomass-to-Electricity Systems
by Mario Martín-Gamboa, Paula Quinteiro, Ana Cláudia Dias and Diego Iribarren
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4918; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094918 - 5 May 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3081
Abstract
Biomass plays a fundamental role in numerous decarbonisation strategies that seek to mitigate the short- and long-term effects of climate change. Within this context, decision-makers’ choices need to comprehensively consider potential sustainability effects associated with bioenergy systems. In particular, due to the lack [...] Read more.
Biomass plays a fundamental role in numerous decarbonisation strategies that seek to mitigate the short- and long-term effects of climate change. Within this context, decision-makers’ choices need to comprehensively consider potential sustainability effects associated with bioenergy systems. In particular, due to the lack of studies addressing the social sustainability of bioelectricity, the present work applies the Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA) methodology to compare the social performance of two biomass-to-electricity systems located in Portugal based on either fluidised-bed or grate furnace technology. S-LCA involves a comprehensive approach for holistic evaluation and data interpretation of social aspects. Six social indicators were benchmarked: child labour, forced labour, gender wage gap, women in the sectoral labour force, health expenditure, and contribution to economic development. The results show that the implementation of fluidised-bed furnaces as a more efficient conversion technology could reduce by 15–19% the selected negative social impacts, except women in the sectoral labour force. When enlarging the interpretation to a sustainability perspective, the general suitability of the fluidised-bed furnace system would be further emphasised under environmental aspects while jointly providing valuable insights for informed decision-making and sustainability reporting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Assessment of Bioenergy Systems)
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