Techno-economic analysis (TEA) and life cycle assessment (LCA) of maize storage for small and middle sized farmers
Maize is the most widely cultivated cereal crop worldwide, currently ranked the third most important crop globally after wheat and rice. It is a key staple food in many developing countries. However, maize is produced on a seasonal basis, usually harvest once per year. To maintain a constant supply throughout the year, maize should be properly stored. But this may entail high cost and high-energy consumption, which can contribute significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. In this study, three storage capacities (25,000 bu, 250,000 bu and 2,500,000 bu) of maize were evaluated for economic analysis and environmental impact. The results show that the total storage cost per bushel decreased as storage capacity increased (3.68$/bu, 1.89$/bu, and 0.40$/bu). Likewise, energy consumption (electricity, diesel and liquid propane) increased as storage capacity increased. Consequently, more greenhouse gas emissions (CO2, CH4, and NOX) were emitted to the environment as storage scale increased. Thus, to obtain an optimal balance between economics and the environment, it is important for small and middle-sized farms to understand the concepts of techno-economic analysis (TEA) and life cycle assessment (LCA).
This article is published as Suleiman, Rashid and Kurt A. Rosentrater and "Techno-economic analysis (TEA) and life cycle assessment (LCA) of maize storage for small and middle sized farmers." Agricultural Engineering International: CIGR Journal 21, no. 2 (2019): 135-142. Posted with permission.