One of most demanding problems for decision makers and for process engineers is the design of a proper energy strategy to guarantee clean energy supply. This problem is complex and cannot be assessed considering only the standard efficiency criteria used in the past. The process of energy production needs to be analyzed in its completeness, from seed to consumption. This paper deals with the issue of bioenergy production following a nexus perspective, considering the link among water, food and energy. In particular, an objective function depending on the most important resources required in bioenergy production is defined so that it can be simply optimized. Considering the parameter interrelationship among water, food and land (the so-called water-food-energy nexus) the method gives the instruments to determine, in one single function, the optimal condition with respect to these resources. Two cases of study are analysed, dissimilar regarding the geographical location, environmental resources availability for energy production and food security. Results show how the proposed method is able to describe the present sustainability of bioenergy production in a certain site. Furthermore, it can help to investigate the existence of bottlenecks related to the current situation of the site and, at the same time, it can highlight future opportunities in producing sustainable bioenergy.

Assessment of global sustainability of bioenergy production in a water-food-energy perspective

MANENTI, FLAVIO;RULLI, MARIA CRISTINA;RULLI, MARIA CRISTINA
2016-01-01

Abstract

One of most demanding problems for decision makers and for process engineers is the design of a proper energy strategy to guarantee clean energy supply. This problem is complex and cannot be assessed considering only the standard efficiency criteria used in the past. The process of energy production needs to be analyzed in its completeness, from seed to consumption. This paper deals with the issue of bioenergy production following a nexus perspective, considering the link among water, food and energy. In particular, an objective function depending on the most important resources required in bioenergy production is defined so that it can be simply optimized. Considering the parameter interrelationship among water, food and land (the so-called water-food-energy nexus) the method gives the instruments to determine, in one single function, the optimal condition with respect to these resources. Two cases of study are analysed, dissimilar regarding the geographical location, environmental resources availability for energy production and food security. Results show how the proposed method is able to describe the present sustainability of bioenergy production in a certain site. Furthermore, it can help to investigate the existence of bottlenecks related to the current situation of the site and, at the same time, it can highlight future opportunities in producing sustainable bioenergy.
2016
Chemical Engineering (all)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1003042
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