Examinando Artículos Ingeniería por Autor "Aitken, Douglas"
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- ÍtemLife cycle assessment of macroalgae cultivation and processing for biofuel production(2014) Aitken, Douglas; Bulboa, Cristian; Godoy Faúndez, Alex; Turrion-Gomez, Juan L.; Antizar-Ladislao, Blanca;There has been a recent resurgence in research investigating bioenergy production from algal biomass due to the potential environmental benefits in comparison to conventional bioenergy crops and conventional fossil fuels. This life cycle assessment (LCA) considered the energy return and environmental impacts of the cultivation and processing of macroalgae (seaweed) to bioethanol and biogas with a particular focus on specific species (Gracilaria chilensis and Macrocystis pyrifera) and cultivation methods (bottom planting and long-line cultivation). The study was based mainly upon data obtained from research conducted in Chile but the results can be applied to other locations where similar cultivation is feasible. Speculative data were also included to test promising data obtained from research. The results suggested that using base case conditions the production of both bioethanol and biogas from bottom planted Gracilaria chilensis was the most sustainable option due to the low input method of cultivation. Using new advances in cultivation and processing methods of long-line cultivatedMacrocystis pyrifera however resulted in a much more sustainable source of bioenergy. If these methods can be proven on a large scale, the generation of bioenergy from macroalgae could be highly competitive in terms of its sustainability compared to alternative feedstocks. Future research should bear in mind that the results of this study should however be considered highly optimistic given the early stage of research.
- ÍtemWater Scarcity and the Impact of the Mining and Agricultural Sectors in Chile(2016) Aitken, Douglas; Rivera, Diego; Holzapfel, Eduardo; Godoy Faúndez, AlexChile contains some of the driest areas in the world, yet human activities in these areas require large volumes of water, the result is regions experiencing high water scarcity leading to environmental degradation, conflicts and reduced industrial productivity. The aim of this paper was to quantify the water scarcity in the central and northern regions by calculating the water scarcity index—the ratio of annual water demand to availability. A focus of the paper was to determine the impact of the main industries in each region and investigate the benefit of implementing wáter reduction strategies within these industries. The water resources of each investigated region were found to be greatly overexploited and particularly so in the region of Antofagasta. The mining industry was found to be the greatest water consuming sector in this region and further analysis demonstrated that the degree of water scarcity could be greatly reduced by the implementation of water reduction strategies. The agricultural sector dominated water demand in all other regions and it was found that upgrading irrigation efficiency alongside reducing consumption in mining improved the situation in all regions. Nevertheless, given the scale of water scarcity, further investigation is necessary to obtain more recent and accurate data and analyze alternative strategies.