Congiu, Giovanni Battista (2011) Impatto di colture bioenergetiche in sistemi agro-pastorali mediterranei. Doctoral Thesis.
The EU and national incentives for renewable energy generated a new demand of biofuel also in Sardinia, where permanent pastures and field crops cover about 50% and 13% respectively of the total island area. Some other biofuel crops have been introduced in the mainland, where about 20% of the cereal area has been abandoned between 2002 and 2007, because of the low productivity and the unreliable price dynamics. The introduction of biofuel crops in this context, poses a number of issues in relation to the integration in the agro-pastoral system, environmental impact and energy efficiency. The aim of this paper was to assess the energy balance and global warming potential (GWP) of the oilseed crops that are being introduced in Sardinia, rapeseed (Brassica napus var. oleifera D.C) and carinata (Brassica carinata A. Braun), by applying the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology. Field data were collected in Sardinia on almost all farms growing rapeseed (8 farms, 239 ha) and carinata (1 farm, 200 ha). The GWP of the rapeseed crop ranged from 11,9 to 38,9 gCO2 eq MJ-1 and for carinata were 19,2 gCO2 eq/MJ. The energy demand of rapeseed ranged between 5.318 and 10.201 MJ/ha, while it was 9.612 MJ/ha in carinata. The observed FER of carinata was 5.31, lower than all but two of the rapeseed fields investigated. Mineral fertilizers were recognised as the most relevant factor contributing to the environmental impact of both crops.
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