A study of changes in energy consumption trend and environmental indicators in the production of agricultural crops using a life cycle assessment approach in the years 2018-2022

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Agricultural Machinery Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

2 Department of Agricultural Machinery Engineering, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering & Technology, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran


The purpose of this study was to investigate changes in energy consumption and environmental indicators in the production of crops, including sugarcane, wheat, canola and sunflower during the years 2018 to 2022. Relevant information was collected through statistics recorded in planning management of Imam Khomeini Sugarcane Agro-Industrial Company in Khuzestan province. Using these statistics and sources, the production situation of agriculture and industry products was investigated. Based on the obtained results, in sugarcane fields, energy consumption in the years 2018 to 2022 was calculated as 131.05, 142.47, 152.16, 155.45 and 161.71 GJ ha-1 respectively. Also, energy consumption was equal to 30.49, 32.70, 35.10, 36.52, and 38.02 GJ ha-1 in wheat fields in the considered period. On the other hand, for the production of canola in the years 2018 to 2022, it varied and was equal to 19.44, 20.81, 22.68, 23.83 and 24.86 GJ ha-1 respectively. Also, in sunflower fields in the same period of time, it was estimated as 44.19, 82.14, 61.15, 20.16 and 76.16 GJ ha-1 respectively. The results of environmental effects showed that the highest amount of pollution caused by the effect of resources in sugarcane production is in the mentioned years of 12.08, 12.64, 12.91, 12.40 and 12.47 USD2013. Also, in wheat production this index increased from 61.96 to 68.23, in canola production increased from 79.86 to 85.51, and finally, in sunflower production increased from 61.82 to 65.73. Based on the ranking of the by-products, sunflower, wheat and canola are prioritized for cultivation from the first to the third place respectively. Optimal use of electricity inputs, diesel fuel and chemical fertilizers can help reduce energy consumption and environmental pollution. In order to reduce energy consumption in the production of agricultural and industrial products, it is recommended to use renewable energy sources such as electricity produced from solar sources by photovoltaic systems.


Main Subjects

A study of changes in energy consumption trend and environmental indicators in the production of agricultural crops using a life cycle assessment approach in the years 2018-2022

Extended Abstract




In today's world, the escalating environmental crises and growing demand for natural resources have underscored the importance of evaluating the entire life cycle of products and their production processes. The primary objective of this approach is to enhance the sustainability of products and their production processes by minimizing environmental effects and optimizing resource consumption. By employing life cycle assessment, one can effectively plan and optimize products and services, minimize adverse impacts on the environment, and boost profitability. To conduct a life cycle assessment, it is essential to utilize accepted methods such as the ISO 14040 standard. Additionally, computational analysis and evaluation should be carried out at each stage of the life cycle. This study focuses on examining the various stages of the life cycle of specific products and evaluating their energy consumption over a 5-year period. Additionally, it investigates energy trends and various environmental impacts associated with these products, while also offering potential solutions to mitigate them. Furthermore, the study aims to rank secondary products (wheat, canola, and sunflower) based on their energy consumption and environmental impacts.


Materials and Methods

This research was conducted in Khuzestan province, Shushtar city, Shoaibieh region, Imam Khomeini Sugarcane Agro-Industrial Company, one of the important agriculture and industries in Iran. To gather data on the production status of agricultural and industrial products between 2018 and 2022, a series of steps were taken. Initially, experts in the field were interviewed to gather their insights on the topic. These interviews were conducted through specially designed questionnaires. Throughout the research process, various sources of information in the field of agriculture were utilized, including agriculture and industry planning management statistics and energy balance sheets. These sources provided the necessary data to analyze and evaluate the production status of agricultural and industrial products. The primary focus of this research was on sugarcane, which serves as the main product of cultivation and industry. Additionally, during the cropping season, other crops such as wheat, canola, and sunflower were cultivated, resulting in increased productivity and efficient use of land and resources.


Results and Discussion

The results indicated an increase in energy consumption in the cultivation of sugarcane, wheat, canola, and sunflower. Specifically, the energy consumption in sugarcane farms ranged from 131.05 to 161.71 GJ ha-1 during the study period. The energy consumption for by-products also showed an upward trend. Furthermore, the study found that the highest environmental pollution from resource usage in sugarcane production occurred in the respective years, with values ranging from 12.08 to 12.91 USD2013. Similar increases were observed in wheat, canola, and sunflower production. Among the by-products, sunflower ranked highest, followed by wheat and canola. Electricity inputs, diesel fuel, and chemical fertilizers were identified as significant contributors to energy consumption and pollution.



The research findings emphasize the significance of optimizing input usage and reducing consumption to address environmental pollution. One effective solution to tackle the rising energy consumption in agricultural production is the adoption of renewable energy sources, such as solar-generated electricity through photovoltaic systems. Implementing these systems can result in decreased energy consumption and a subsequent reduction in the environmental impact. Furthermore, the integration of new technologies can help minimize reliance on non-renewable energy sources like diesel fuel. These initiatives not only contribute to lower energy consumption and reduced environmental pollutants but also have the potential to improve overall air quality. Ultimately, the utilization of renewable energy sources and the incorporation of clean and sustainable technologies play a pivotal role in mitigating environmental impacts associated with agricultural product production, ultimately benefiting the environment.

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