Revisión de las consideraciones metodológicas utilizadas en estudios ambientales con enfoque de ciclo de vida sobre la producción de microalgas con fines energéticos

Paula Daniela Rodriguez, Alejandro Pablo Arena, Bárbara María Civit, Roxana Piastrellini

Resumo


A Avaliação do Ciclo de Vida (ACV) tem sido utilizada por diversos autores para avaliar a produção de microalgas com fins energéticos. No entanto, desde a perspectiva energética e ambiental, não existem conclusões gerais sobre ela, não só pelas diferenças tecnológicas entre os sistemas estudados, mas também pelas distintas escolhas metodológicas adotadas pelos autores. Este trabalho tem como objetivo encontrar os principais aspectos que dificultam a comparação dos resultados de diversos estudos com abordagem de ciclo de vida de sistemas de produção de microalgas com fins energéticos, e propor recomendações que permitam harmonizar as escolhas metodológicas de futuros estudos. Para isso, foi realizada uma ampla revisão bibliográfica e foram selecionadas aquelas publicações que consideram o cultivo de microalgas em sistemas fechados, ou seja, fotobiorreatores de qualquer configuração (tubulares, flat-plate, air-lift, etc.). As treze publicações escolhidas foram avaliadas conforme as diretrizes presentes nas normas ISO 14040 e 14044. Os resultados indicam que fatores como o produto estudado, a unidade funcional selecionada, os limites do sistema, os procedimentos da atribuição de cargas ambientais utilizados, as fontes de dados, os métodos de avaliação de impactos e as categorias de impactos escolhidas diferem amplamente entre os estudos, impossibilitando a comparação dos mesmos para chegar a resultados confiáveis. Portanto considera-se necessário harmonizar as escolhas metodológicas dos futuros estudos de ACV de biocombustíveis de terceira geração. Para isso, propõe-se uma série de recomendações que visam a colaboração na avaliação dos impactos ambientais desses sistemas.
 
Palavras-chave: Avaliação do ciclo de vida. Bioenergia. Biocombustível de terceira geração.

Resumen

El Análisis del Ciclo de Vida (ACV) ha sido utilizado por distintos autores para evaluar la producción de microalgas con fines energéticos. Sin embargo, desde la perspectiva energética y ambiental, no existen conclusiones generales acerca de ella, no sólo por las diferencias tecnológicas entre los sistemas estudiados, sino también por las distintas elecciones metodológicas adoptadas por los autores. Este trabajo tiene como objetivos hallar los principales aspectos que dificultan la comparación de los resultados de diversos estudios con enfoque de ciclo de vida de sistemas de producción de microalgas con fines energéticos, y proponer recomendaciones que permitan armonizar las elecciones metodológicas de futuros estudios. Para ello, se llevó a cabo una amplia revisión de la literatura y se seleccionaron aquellas publicaciones que consideran el cultivo de microalgas en sistemas cerrados, esto es fotobiorreactores de cualquier configuración (tubulares, flat-plate, air-lift, etc.). Las 13 publicaciones elegidas se evaluaron según los lineamientos ofrecidos por las normas ISO 14040 y 14044. Los resultados indican que factores como el producto estudiado, la unidad funcional seleccionada, los límites del sistema, los procedimientos de asignación de cargas ambientales utilizados, las fuentes de datos, los métodos de evaluación de impactos y las categorías de impacto escogidas difieren ampliamente entre estudios, imposibilitando la comparación de los mismos para llegar a conclusiones confiables. Por lo tanto, se considera necesario armonizar las elecciones metodológicas de los futuros estudios de ACV de biocombustibles de tercera generación. Para ello, se propone una serie de recomendaciones dirigidas a colaborar en la evaluación de los impactos ambientales de estos sistemas.

Palabras clave: Análisis del Ciclo de Vida. Bioenergía. Biocombustibles de terceira generación.

Abstract

The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has been used by different authors to measure the production of microalgae for energy purposes. However, from the energy and environmental perspective, there are no general conclusions about this, not only because of the technological differences between the systems studied, but also because of the different methodological options adopted by the authors. The objective of this work is to find the main aspects that make it difficult to compare the results of several studies with a life cycle approach of microalgae production systems for energy purposes, and propose recommendations that allow harmonizing the methodological choices of future studies. For this, a wide review of the literature was carried out and those publications that consider the cultivation of microalgae in closed systems, that is, photobioreactors of any configuration (tubular, flat plate, air lift, etc.), were selected. The 13 selected publications were evaluated in accordance with the guidelines offered by the ISO 14040 and 14044 standards. The results indicate that factors such as the product studied, the selected functional unit, the limits of the system, the environmental allocation procedures used, the data resources, the impact evaluation methods and the impact categories chosen differ widely among the studies, making it impossible to compare them to arrive at reliable conclusions. Therefore, it is considered necessary to harmonize the methodological choices of future LCA studies of third generation biofuels. For this, a series of recommendations are proposed to collaborate in the evaluation of the environmental impacts of these systems.

Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment. Bioenergy. Third generation biofuel.


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Referências


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18225/lalca.v2i1.4008

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Direitos autorais 2018 Paula Daniela Rodriguez, Alejandro Pablo Arena, Bárbara María Civit, Roxana Piastrellini

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