Purpose The study’s objective is to assess the environmental performance of rice production in Northern Italy, in particular in Piedmont, the first Italian and European district for the rice-growing area, and thus identify the most critical hotspots and agricultural processes. In particular, as a case study, a farm located in Vercelli (VC) has been chosen. Subsequently, the study results were compared with other different cultivation practices to evaluate the most sustainable choice. Methods The application of the LCA has been performed, highlighting the phases of rice production that have the most significant impact. Then, uncertainty and sensitivity analyses have been made to estimate the robustness of the results and assess the influence of changing some input variables on emission reduction. Finally, multivariate statistical, specifically a principal component analysis (PCA), was conducted to aid the interpretation of the output dataset of this case study. LCA, uncertainty analysis, and sensitivity analysis were performed with SimaPro 9.2.0, using ReCiPe 2016 Midpoint (H) methodology, and PCA with R software. Results and discussions The hotspot with the highest environmental load is irrigation, which compared to the other phases impacts more in 15 out of 18 categories, including 12 with impacts greater than + 75%. This is because irrigation causes direct impacts, related to the methanogenesis in rice fields, but also indirect impacts related mainly to the production of the energy mix required to move the large masses of irrigation water. Therefore, different water management systems were compared and results show that the irrigation systems based on intermittent paddy submergence (DSI) could result in − 40% lower impacts, resulting to be the preferable technique over the other irrigation systems analyzed, including the traditional one used in this study. Conclusions In order to reduce the environmental impacts related to the irrigation process, a water management system characterized by intermittent flooding of the paddy field (DSI) could be used as it reduces the environmental impacts the most (− 40%), while the least suitable system is one characterized by continuous flooding without drought periods, as it causes the highest impacts.

Environmental life cycle assessment of rice production in northern Italy: a case study from Vercelli / Vinci, Giuliana; Maddaloni, Lucia; Ruggeri, Marco; Vieri, Simone. - In: THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT. - ISSN 0948-3349. - (2022). [10.1007/s11367-022-02109-x]

Environmental life cycle assessment of rice production in northern Italy: a case study from Vercelli

Vinci Giuliana
;
Maddaloni Lucia;Ruggeri Marco;Vieri Simone
2022

Abstract

Purpose The study’s objective is to assess the environmental performance of rice production in Northern Italy, in particular in Piedmont, the first Italian and European district for the rice-growing area, and thus identify the most critical hotspots and agricultural processes. In particular, as a case study, a farm located in Vercelli (VC) has been chosen. Subsequently, the study results were compared with other different cultivation practices to evaluate the most sustainable choice. Methods The application of the LCA has been performed, highlighting the phases of rice production that have the most significant impact. Then, uncertainty and sensitivity analyses have been made to estimate the robustness of the results and assess the influence of changing some input variables on emission reduction. Finally, multivariate statistical, specifically a principal component analysis (PCA), was conducted to aid the interpretation of the output dataset of this case study. LCA, uncertainty analysis, and sensitivity analysis were performed with SimaPro 9.2.0, using ReCiPe 2016 Midpoint (H) methodology, and PCA with R software. Results and discussions The hotspot with the highest environmental load is irrigation, which compared to the other phases impacts more in 15 out of 18 categories, including 12 with impacts greater than + 75%. This is because irrigation causes direct impacts, related to the methanogenesis in rice fields, but also indirect impacts related mainly to the production of the energy mix required to move the large masses of irrigation water. Therefore, different water management systems were compared and results show that the irrigation systems based on intermittent paddy submergence (DSI) could result in − 40% lower impacts, resulting to be the preferable technique over the other irrigation systems analyzed, including the traditional one used in this study. Conclusions In order to reduce the environmental impacts related to the irrigation process, a water management system characterized by intermittent flooding of the paddy field (DSI) could be used as it reduces the environmental impacts the most (− 40%), while the least suitable system is one characterized by continuous flooding without drought periods, as it causes the highest impacts.
2022
Rice; Agricultural emissions; Crop management; Multivariate analysis; PCA;· Piedmont
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
Environmental life cycle assessment of rice production in northern Italy: a case study from Vercelli / Vinci, Giuliana; Maddaloni, Lucia; Ruggeri, Marco; Vieri, Simone. - In: THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT. - ISSN 0948-3349. - (2022). [10.1007/s11367-022-02109-x]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1684173
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