Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 12, Issue 1,2014
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

Assessment of life cycle impact and ecological footprint in a case study on corn production in northeast China


Hou Haochen, Zhang Weidong *, Hou Lin *

Recieved Date: 2013-10-07, Accepted Date: 2014-01-12


Recently, new research methods such as life cycle impact assessment and ecological footprint assessment, have been used to analyse environmental impacts in industry, animal husbandry, tourism, etc. This has become a popular research field and continues to garner increasing attention from scientists. In this paper, quantitative analysis of life cycle impact and qualitative analysis of the ecological footprint were used to evaluate corn production processes in Changtu County, China. The three largest black soil zones in the world are in the plains of northeast China (which includes Changtu County), Ukraine and the Mississippi valley in the United States. Analysis of the results of ecological footprint assessment showed that all nine towns selected had been in negative ecological status with respect to the process of corn production. We then used life cycle impact assessment to evaluate the potential for global warming, acidification, nutrient enrichment and energy depletion in corn production in Changtu County. The life cycle impact assessment results showed that global warming potential and energy depletion potential appeared to contribute the largest percentiles in corn production, and there were smaller percentiles for acidification potential and eutrophication in this process. From the results of this study, we make recommendations for changing the negative ecological status that entail reducing the use of fossil fuels, improving the efficiency of agricultural machinery and using clean-burning fuels.


Ecological footprint, life cycle assessment, black soil zone, corn production process

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2014
Volume: 12
Issue: 1
Category: Environment
Pages: 480-486

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