Conversion of vine shoots into bioethanol and chemicals: Prospective LCA of biorefinery concept.
Abstract Vine shoots are the viticulture residues generated in high quantities after the grapevine pruning. They are lignocellulosic material poorly exploited as feedstock. These wastes are often dumped in the agriculture fields or burnt. Due to their availability and relatively low price, vine shoots are considered as potential feedstock for biochemical conversion into value-added products. In this work, two biorefinery scenarios using vine shoots as feedstock to co-produce chemicals are assessed from an environmental point of view: production of lactic acid, and co-production of lactic acid and furfural. A CHP area was considered to be annexed to the plants to produce heat and electricity for internal use. The Aspen Plus and SimaPro commercial software were used to perform the LCA of the selected scenarios. The assessed scenarios demonstrate significant reductions in climate change, fossil fuel depletion, freshwater ecotoxicity and eutrophication and human toxicity impacts compared to their counterfactual systems.