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Life Cycle Assessment for the Cuban pig production: Case study in Sancti Spiritus

  • Reyes, Yasmani Alba
  • Barrera, Ernesto L.
  • Valle, Anisley Sarduy
  • Gil, Maylier Pérez
  • García, Orestes Hermida
  • Dewulf, Jo
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2019
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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This study was carried out to evaluate the Life Cycle Environmental Impacts of three Pig Production Technologies (PPT), considering the activities involved in their productive systems (pig production, animal feed, avoided fertilizer production, energy and water consumption) and relevant cleaner production scenarios for the Cuban context; such as: 1) the impact of technical conditions during lagooning; and 2) the use of high efficiency anaerobic digestion technologies (e.g., Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket, UASB) over small scale digester (Fixed Dome Digesters, FDD) for waste management. The province of Sancti Spíritus was taken as case study considering the existence of similar scenarios in all Cuban provinces. The Life Cycle Assessment Methodology was used to determine the environmental burdens of the three PPT (Genetic Farms, Multiplier Farms and Production Farms). Genetic Farms produced the lowest impacts due to their lower consumption of feed (soybean and corn) and energy, and the lowest global emissions of pollutants. Pig production (housing and lagooning) was the activity with the highest contributions (75–89%) to the impact categories climate change, terrestrial acidification, marine eutrophication and freshwater eutrophication, due to the emissions of greenhouse gases during lagooning. In contrast, feed production (corn and soybeans) reached the highest impacts (87%) for terrestrial ecotoxicity, which was related to the agricultural and industrial processes of corn and soybean. The main cleaner production opportunities (with an impact above 49%) were obtained from the utilization of a high efficiency anaerobic digestion technology (i.e., UASB), while low environmental benefits can be obtained when using small scale digesters (i.e., FDD). The technical conditions of the lagoons affect also the environmental burdens of the PPT, suggesting that a proper maintenance is crucial. The results obtained became a tool for decision makers and researchers about the implementation of high efficiency technologies for waste management in Pig Farms to obtain the highest environmental benefits, not only in Cuba but also in developing countries with similar situation.

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