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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Regionalized life cycle assessment of renewable energy and waste valorization technologies for the Canadian egg industry Kanani, Farah


Egg production in Canada has increased substantially in the past decades. Over 789 million dozen eggs were produced by the industry in 2020. Due to being the fastest growing market among livestock products along with increasing scrutiny regarding the sustainability impacts of livestock production, the industry is striving towards reducing its net emissions and overall environmental footprint. Green technologies offer opportunities for mitigating resource use and emissions in the egg industry. However, to date, there has been no systematic accounting of the distribution, scale, feasibility, mitigation potential and scalability of these technologies specifically for the Canadian egg industry. The purpose of the research reported was to identify a subset of renewable energy and waste valorization technology options and deployment scenarios that are potentially most suitable for Canadian egg farms and to thereafter perform regionalized life cycle assessments to understand and compare the relative efficacy and feasibility of these technologies for application in the Canadian egg industry. The results of these analyses demonstrate the potential to substantially reduce resource use and emissions per tonne of eggs produced in four key provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick) that operate predominantly on a fossil-fuel based electricity grid. Both solar and wind energy (wind speeds > 4 m/s) technologies are suitable in these provinces, with reasonable environmental impact payback times (eIPBTs). In provinces with greener electricity grid mixes (British Columbia, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador), long eIPBTs preclude consideration of on-farm solar PV systems and a minimal emissions reductions potential associated with on-farm wind turbine installations. Results for Prince Edward Island were mixed. This was the same case for two principal waste valorization technologies identified as potential options for the egg industry (anaerobic co-digestion and gasification). Based on an LCA study, both technologies were found to be more beneficial than direct land application of manure, with the exception of land occupation impacts. Anaerobic co-digestion has the greatest resource use/emissions reduction potential. This study emphasizes the importance of regionalization in LCA in order to accurately characterize potential life cycle impacts in agricultural systems and candidate mitigation technologies, which are highly variable in time and space.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International