Renewable Energy, Vol.159, 547-552, 2020
Sustainable enhancement of sugarcane fertilization for energy purposes in hot climates
The increase in the cultivation of sugarcane for energy purposes has raised awareness regarding the possibilities of mitigating the associated environmental impacts. This study applies the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology to quantify and compare the environmental impacts associated with the use of commercial chemical fertilization and industrial biosolids in the production of sugarcane. LCA was developed with the SimaPro (R) software, utilizing the Ecoinvent and Agri-footprint databases. The environmental impact assessment methods employed were the IPCC 2013 GWP 100y and Eco-indicator 99. An experiment was devised at an experimental farm located in Northeast Brazil, considering 1 ha cultivated with sugarcane. For commercial chemical fertilization, local management practices were followed. The biosolid was applied in the exact dosage recommended by Brazilian regulation, "biosolid 1x". This amount was then multiplied by two, four, and eight, totalling four scenarios. The environmental loads generated in the cultivation of sugarcane decreased with the application of "biosolid 1x". All biosolid dosages tested reached higher production values than commercial chemical fertilization. The application of biosolid as a fertilizer contributed to addressing the issue of its correct disposal and is a promising alternative for the development of more sustainable and productive energy systems. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.