Synergy between industry and agriculture: techno-economic and life cycle assessments of waste recovery for crop growth in glasshouses

McDonald, Lewis J.; Pinto, Ariane S.S.; Arshad, Muhammad Naveed; Rowe, Rebecca L. ORCID:; Donnison, Iain; McManus, Marcelle. 2023 Synergy between industry and agriculture: techno-economic and life cycle assessments of waste recovery for crop growth in glasshouses. Journal of Cleaner Production, 432, 139650.

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Controlled-environment agriculture in agro-industrial systems, where carbon dioxide, heat, and other wastes are recovered or recycled, has potential to be an environmentally friendly approach with economic feasibility. However, such approaches need careful exploration to ensure that environmental and economic benefits are maximised. Techno-economic, and life cycle assessments were applied to evaluate the synergy of producing crops (tomato and hemp) and recovering industrial wastes (e.g., heat and carbon dioxide) in glasshouses with robust uncertainty and sensitivity analyses. For each crop, two scenarios were compared, linear scenarios evaluated the use of raw materials with no waste recovery whereas circular scenarios captured industry flows and reused or recycled them in the glasshouse- avoiding raw materials consumption. Circular practices had a net benefit on the global warming potential for both crops, capturing up to 50,000 kg/y of CO2 in crops biomass and providing competitive product prices. The analysis showed that circular operational conditions can reduce, by almost half, the break-even product selling prices and sequester up to, approximately, 500 kg CO2eq./m2 of glasshouse if compared to linear systems. Future investments in this outstanding strategy to supply the United Kingdom's market demand of tomatoes could lead to a low-cost product and negative CO2eq. emissions by mitigating the importation of these products. Alongside, other impact categories scores may not be as favourable as the global warming potential, due to high impact of the waste management phase, chemical fertilisers, and pesticides utilisation.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Soils and Land Use (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0959-6526
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: CCUS, industrial wastes, greenhouse crop cultivation, circular economy, techno-economic-environmental analysis
NORA Subject Terms: Economics
Agriculture and Soil Science
Data and Information
Date made live: 06 Dec 2023 15:59 +0 (UTC)

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