Life cycle analysis of the energy use of the waste (corn cob) of the corn crop (Zea mays) in the province of Los Ríos, Ecuador
Agriculture faces three new challenges today, climate change, desertification and the loss of soil biodiversity, caused by poor cultural practices in agricultural systems and it is necessary these systems not only to provide food, as well energy to from all the waste. Maize is a product that is grown in almost all the world and during the process of harvest residues such as corn cobs, leaves, stems that can be used as energy sources are generated. The objective of this work is to perform a life cycle analysis of the energy use of the corn cob, determining the waste coefficients and their energy potential in the province of Los Ríos, Ecuador, obtaining that for each ton of corn harvested 1,665 tons are obtained of waste, of which 0,613 t are stems, 0,309 t leaves, 0,277 t of roots and 0,186 t corn cobs. The life cycle analysis of the electrical energy production from the corn cobs with gasification technologies and internal combustion engine shows energy potential of 15, 72 GJ / ha per harvest and an electric generation index of 115,20 kWh/t of corn produced. On the other hand, the carbon footprint in terms of greenhouse gas emissions for the scenarios evaluated was 913 kg CO2-eq / t of corn and 797 kg CO2-eq / t of corn, respectively, with a reduction in emissions of 12,7 % per harvest.