The aim of this work was to assess the environmental consequences of anaerobic mono- and co-digestion of pig manure to produce bio-energy, from a life cycle perspective. This included assessing environmental impacts and land use change emissions (LUC) required to replace used co-substrates for anaerobic digestion. Environmental impact categories considered were climate change, terrestrial acidification, marine and freshwater eutrophication, particulate matter formation, land use, and fossil fuel depletion. Six scenarios were evaluated: mono-digestion of manure, co-digestion with: maize silage, maize silage and glycerin, beet tails, wheat yeast concentrate (WYC), and roadside grass. Mono-digestion reduced most impacts, but represented a limited source for bio-energy. Co-digestion with maize silage, beet tails, and WYC (competing with animal feed), and glycerin increased bio-energy production (up to 568%), but at expense of increasing climate change (through LUC), marine eutrophication, and land use. Codigestion with wastes or residues like roadside grass gave the best environmental performance.
Bioresource Technology, 2012, Vol 125, p. 239-248
Consequential LCA; pig slurry; renewable energy; indirect land use change; greenhouse gases