Environmental life cycle assessment and energy use efficiency in cumin and fennel production

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of biosystem engineering, Takestan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Takestan, Iran.

2 Department of Food Science and Engineering, Faculty of Civil and Earth Resources Engineering, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Energy use efficiency is a measure of how efficiently energy is used in an agricultural production system. It considers the amount of energy inputs required to produce a given output, such as a unit of cumin or fennel. The province of Qazvin, Iran was selected for the study of the cultivation of medicinal plants in 2022. A life cycle assessment (LCA) is a comprehensive analysis of the environmental impact of a product or process throughout its entire life cycle, from raw material extraction to disposal. It considers the environmental impact of various stages, including production, transportation, use, and disposal, and assesses the impact on categories such as climate change, water use, and land use. The present study investigates energy use and environmental impacts of cumin and fennel production. The results showed that fennel had higher productive energy and that its energy output was 18206.04 MJ ha-1. The highest consumption of inputs, which was over 40%, was related to nitrogen fertilizers. The negative addition of net energy indicates that more care should be taken in medicinal plant farms as to how energy inputs, especially chemical fertilizers and diesel fuel, are consumed. LCA is a suitable instrument to investigate and quantify the environmental effects of agricultural products and food industries. The effects of environmental emissions of medicinal plant production were calculated as an important part of human health. The weighting results showed that the human health category has more environmental emissions for both crops


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