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Review of comparative LCAs of food waste management systems - Current status and potential improvements.

Bernstad, Anna LU and la Cour Jansen, Jes LU (2012) In Waste Management
Abstract
Twenty-five comparative cycle assessments (LCAs) addressing food waste treatment were reviewed, including the treatment alternatives landfill, thermal treatment, compost (small and large scale) and anaerobic digestion. The global warming potential related to these treatment alternatives varies largely amongst the studies. Large differences in relation to setting of system boundaries, methodological choices and variations in used input data were seen between the studies. Also, a number of internal contradictions were identified, many times resulting in biased comparisons between alternatives. Thus, noticed differences in global warming potential are not found to be a result of actual differences in the environmental impacts from studied... (More)
Twenty-five comparative cycle assessments (LCAs) addressing food waste treatment were reviewed, including the treatment alternatives landfill, thermal treatment, compost (small and large scale) and anaerobic digestion. The global warming potential related to these treatment alternatives varies largely amongst the studies. Large differences in relation to setting of system boundaries, methodological choices and variations in used input data were seen between the studies. Also, a number of internal contradictions were identified, many times resulting in biased comparisons between alternatives. Thus, noticed differences in global warming potential are not found to be a result of actual differences in the environmental impacts from studied systems, but rather to differences in the performance of the study. A number of key issues with high impact on the overall global warming potential from different treatment alternatives for food waste were identified through the use of one-way sensitivity analyses in relation to a previously performed LCA of food waste management. Assumptions related to characteristics in treated waste, losses and emissions of carbon, nutrients and other compounds during the collection, storage and pretreatment, potential energy recovery through combustion, emissions from composting, emissions from storage and land use of bio-fertilizers and chemical fertilizers and eco-profiles of substituted goods were all identified as highly relevant for the outcomes of this type of comparisons. As the use of LCA in this area is likely to increase in coming years, it is highly relevant to establish more detailed guidelines within this field in order to increase both the general quality in assessments as well as the potentials for cross-study comparisons. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Waste Management
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000312675400028
  • pmid:22922048
  • scopus:84870237207
ISSN
1879-2456
DOI
10.1016/j.wasman.2012.07.023
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c134a00f-e201-436d-9ccb-75bc9fdf0cac (old id 3047213)
alternative location
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22922048?dopt=Abstract
date added to LUP
2012-09-14 09:56:05
date last changed
2017-11-19 03:59:52
@article{c134a00f-e201-436d-9ccb-75bc9fdf0cac,
  abstract     = {Twenty-five comparative cycle assessments (LCAs) addressing food waste treatment were reviewed, including the treatment alternatives landfill, thermal treatment, compost (small and large scale) and anaerobic digestion. The global warming potential related to these treatment alternatives varies largely amongst the studies. Large differences in relation to setting of system boundaries, methodological choices and variations in used input data were seen between the studies. Also, a number of internal contradictions were identified, many times resulting in biased comparisons between alternatives. Thus, noticed differences in global warming potential are not found to be a result of actual differences in the environmental impacts from studied systems, but rather to differences in the performance of the study. A number of key issues with high impact on the overall global warming potential from different treatment alternatives for food waste were identified through the use of one-way sensitivity analyses in relation to a previously performed LCA of food waste management. Assumptions related to characteristics in treated waste, losses and emissions of carbon, nutrients and other compounds during the collection, storage and pretreatment, potential energy recovery through combustion, emissions from composting, emissions from storage and land use of bio-fertilizers and chemical fertilizers and eco-profiles of substituted goods were all identified as highly relevant for the outcomes of this type of comparisons. As the use of LCA in this area is likely to increase in coming years, it is highly relevant to establish more detailed guidelines within this field in order to increase both the general quality in assessments as well as the potentials for cross-study comparisons.},
  author       = {Bernstad, Anna and la Cour Jansen, Jes},
  issn         = {1879-2456},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {08},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Waste Management},
  title        = {Review of comparative LCAs of food waste management systems - Current status and potential improvements.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2012.07.023},
  year         = {2012},
}