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      Systematic analysis of secondary life cycle inventories when modelling agricultural production: A case study for arable crops

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          Abstract

          Analysis of agricultural production with life cycle based methodologies is data demanding. To build comprehensive life cycle inventories, secondary datasets are commonly used when primary data are not available. However, different inventory data and modelling approaches are used to populate secondary datasets, leading to different results. The present study analyses the features of twelve secondary datasets to support datasets selection and proper interpretation of results. We assess twelve datasets for arable crop production in France, as modelled in three databases often used in the LCA field (Agri-footprint, ecoinvent and AGRIBALYSE). First, we compared system boundaries and general assumptions. Second, we focused on foreground systems comparing, inventory data, data sources and modelling approaches. Third, we performed a contribution analysis of impact assessment results to identify modelling choices that contribute most to differences in the results. Nine relevant elements were identified and assessed: definition of system boundaries and modelling of agricultural practices, characteristics of inventory data, agricultural operations, fertiliser application and fate, plant protection products application and fate, heavy metals inputs to the agricultural system and fate, irrigation assumptions, land use and transformation. The datasets differ greatly with respect to these elements. Hence, recommendations are drawn from the datasets comparison, supporting the selection of the datasets coherently with the goal and scope of a study and interpretation of results.

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          Most cited references 29

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          Impact of climate change on freshwater ecosystems: a global-scale analysis of ecologically relevant river flow alterations

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            Crop residues as raw materials for biorefinery systems – A LCA case study

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              Metal emissions from brake linings and tires: case studies of Stockholm, Sweden 1995/1998 and 2005.

              Road traffic has been highlighted as a major source of metal emissions in urban areas. Brake linings and tires are known emission sources of particulate matter to air; the aim of the current study was to follow the development of metal emissions from these sources over the period 1995/ 1998-2005, and to compare the emitted metal quantities to other metal emission sources. Stockholm, Sweden was chosen as a study site. The calculations were based on material metal concentrations, traffic volume, particle emission factors, and vehicle sales figures. The results for metal emissions from brake linings/tire tread rubber in 2005 were as follows: Cd 0.061/0.47 kg/year, Cu 3800/5.3 kg/year, Pb 35/3.7 kg/year, Sb 710/0.54 kg/year, and Zn 1000/4200 kg/ year. The calculated Cu and Zn emissions from brake linings were unchanged in 2005 compared to 1998, indicating that brake linings still remain one of the main emission sources for these metals. Further, brake linings are a source of antimony. In contrast, Pb and Cd emissions have decreased to one tenth compared to 1998. The results also showed that tires still are one of the main sources of Zn and Cd emissions in the city.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                J Clean Prod
                J Clean Prod
                Journal of Cleaner Production
                Elsevier Science
                0959-6526
                1879-1786
                20 January 2018
                20 January 2018
                : 172
                : 3990-4000
                Affiliations
                [a ]Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Istituto di Chimica Agraria e Ambientale, Via Emilia Parmense 84, 29122 Piacenza, PC, Italy
                [b ]European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Directorate D - Sustainable Resources - Bio-Economy Unit, Via Enrico Fermi 2749 TP290, I-21027 Ispra, Italy
                Author notes
                []Corresponding author. valentina.castellani@ 123456ec.europa.eu
                Article
                S0959-6526(17)30641-8
                10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.03.179
                5750820
                © 2017 The Author(s)

                This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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