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A life cycle inventory analysis of wood pellets for greenhouse heating: a case study at Macdonald campus of McGill University1

Department of Natural Resource Sciences, Agricultural Economics Program, McGill University, Ste-Anne-des-Bellevue, Montreal, QC, Canada

1 The authors would like to express their gratitude to MAPAQ, Quebec, Canada for their financial support. The authors wish to thank the editor and anonymous referees for their helpful comments and suggestions. Responsibility for errors, if any, remains with the authors.

Special Issues: Biomass Utilization Technology for Building of Recycling Society

Wood pellets are one of the most promising alternatives to fossil fuel in Canada. Using wood pellets for heating allows saving on heating source expenses as compared to fossil fuels. Moreover, direct carbon emissions from wood pellets are regarded as carbon neutral since regrowth of vegetation captures and stores carbon that already exists in the atmosphere. Using wood pellets as a heating fuel for greenhouse vegetable production is expected to result in less greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuels. Increasing the domestic consumption of wood pellets for greenhouse heating in Canada would reduce the environmental impact of energy consumption. This study investigates the potential of using wood pellets as an alternative fuel for commercial greenhouses in Quebec. This study applied a life-cycle analysis to demonstrate the energy flows and environmental consequences of using wood pellets for greenhouse vegetable production. The results found that greenhouse gas emissions from wood pellets are lower than natural gas in greenhouse operations.
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