Vol. 8 Issue 4 Oct.-Dec. 2017

Jittima Prasara-A*, Wanchat Sawaengsak, Thapat Silalertruksa and Shabbir H. Gheewala

Abstract: This contribution evaluates social effects on workers of the sugarcane bio-refinery complex. Social life cycle assessment was used to assess the social performances along the life cycle of the complex. The system boundary covers raw material acquisition and production processes of products generated in the complex. These products include sugarcane, sugar, electricity and ethanol. The social subcategories assessed are wage satisfaction, employment generation and working conditions. The functional unit for this study is 1,000 tonnes of sugarcane consumed in the processes. The results show that sugarcane production sector generates highest number of employment but has poorest health and safety protection. Wages paid in sugarcane production are lower than other sectors. However, wage satisfaction of workers in sugarcane farms is not too different from other sectors like sugar factory that pay higher wages. This study provides important information for government policy making and corporate social responsibility of the industry.

Keywords: Social sustainability; Sugarcane; Bio-energy; Social LCA; S-LCA; Thailand.

Charongpun Musikavong*, Trakarn Prapaspongsa and Shabbir H.Gheewala

Abstract: This research is aimed at integrating assessment of carbon footprint (CF), water footprint (WF), and ecological footprint (EF) of oil palm and rubber products in the production stage and unit process level for potential environmental improvements. For plantation, one tonne of fresh fruit bunch (FFB) and fresh latex were set as the functional units. For the factory, the functional units are one tonne of crude palm oil (CPO), concentrated latex (CL), blocked rubber (Standard Thai Rubber 5, STR 5), STR 20, and ribbed smoked sheet (RSS). Secondary data were used in this study. The rain water and irrigation water were determined as the major sources of WF and EF of FFB and fresh latex whereas CF had nitrogen fertilizer production and use as major source. The hot spot of unit process of CF did not completely relate to the WF and EF. It was acquisition of input from plantation, wastewater, and production process. Most of the EF and WF for CPO, CL, STR 5, STR 20, and RSS production was contributed by rain and irrigation water from plantation. The plantation stage was the main contributor of CF, WF, and EF. The policy makers must focus on potential environmental improvements in this stage.

Keywords: blocked rubber; concentrated latex; crude palm oil; fresh fruit bunches; fresh latex, ribbed smoked sheet.

Trakarn Prapaspongsa* and Shabbir H. Gheewala

Abstract:Recent public debates and protests on energy industry in Thailand due to concerns on existing and potential adverse environmental impacts, conflict of interest and the lack of scientifically reliable, transparent and easily accessible information have addressed the importance of continuously improved regulations and enforcement. This study aims to identify how LCA can potentially be applied for supporting environmental regulation improvement toward sustainable energy industry in Thailand. This research is carried out by literature analysis. The criteria for choosing regulations to be improved are (1) ease of application, (2) realistic time and manpower resource requirements for the analysis process, (3) limited data requirements. An overall framework of life cycle assessment applications for supporting environmental regulation improvement and enhancing environmental sustainability of Thailand’s energy industry is illustrated. Specific types of recommended environmental regulations for the tool application are effluent standards, environmental quality standards, and environmental impact assessment. Future research includes comparative life cycle assessment studies on specific energy sources considering regulated and non-regulated pollutants as well as comparative environmental impact assessment studies with and without life cycle considerations. 

Keywords: Life cycle assessment; Environmental Laws and Regulations; Environmental Standards; Environmental Impact Assessment; Sustainable Energy Industry.

Sureeporn Khonpikul*, Napat Jakrawatana, Shabbir H. Gheewala, Jitti Mungkalasiri and Jeeranee Janrungautai

Abstract: Maize is an important material for feed production in Thailand. In the past 10 years, the demand of feed production has increased significantly, resulting in the increasing demand of maize. In this research, Material Flow Analysis was applied to track flows of raw materials and resources used in maize supply chain in Thailand in 2015. The study analysed the flow and loss of material and resources along maize supply chain to find the causes and hot spots of the losses in order to develop measures to reduce loss and create more production efficiency with less environmental impact of maize to feed production in Thailand. The results reveal that most of the loss occurred in the agriculture sector including nutrient and crop residues since most of the maize was grown in the hill area. Crop residues have a large potential to use as energy feedstock and reduce particulate matter emission from avoided open burning. Transferring of cultivation from hill area to the plains is necessary for reduction of loss and recovery of crop residues.

Keywords: Material Flow Analysis (MFA); Maize supply chain; loss; particulate matter; nutrient.

Sarawut Saratiean and Amnat Chidthaisong*

Abstract: Soil is one of the most important sinks of carbon.  In Thailand, paddy field accounts for more than half of all cultivated area, yet evaluation of the amount of carbon stock and the carbon sequestration potential of paddy field soil is sparse.   The objective of this study is primarily to evaluate and analyze the carbon stock and its changes in paddy field soil of central Thailand.  The analysis is based on the information available from past data (1967-1998) and the comparison with the current data available since 2011. The results show that the average soil carbon stock for 0-15 cm for 1970-1998 is 54.4 tonC/ha, with the value ranges from 17.25 to 106.95 tonC/ha.  In 2011, this average carbon stock was increased to 60 tonC/ha. On the yearly basis, the overall change in soil carbon stock was an increase of 0.12 tonC/ha/yr (0.40% per year), or a total change of 5.91 tonC/ha for average time span of 27 years.  Changes in soil carbon stock were found to relate with available potassium (K), but not with other soil properties.  We attribute such relationship to the incorporation of rice biomass to the soil along the course of rice cultivation.


Keywords: Soil organic carbon, paddy field, soil properties, central Thailand.

Apatsanan Phaometvarithorn, Surawut Chuangchote*, Methawee Nukunudompanich, Manabu Ihara and Jatuphorn Wootthikanokkhan

Abstract: Perovskite solar cells have currently attracted attention in photovoltaic research, because of their promising ways to carry out high performance. The photovoltaic performance of inverted perovskite solar cells with two-step deposition fabrication is strongly influenced by the morphology of perovskite. In this research work, we studied that the effects of optimum conditions (i.e. (1) methylammonium iodide (MAI) concentration, (2) MAI dipping duration time, and (3) perovskite annealing time) on obtained morphology and photovoltaic performance in inverted perovskite solar cells with a compact TiO2 layer (fabricated by spray pyrolysis). The results showed that the optimized morphologies and performances can be obtained from 0.05 M MAI concentration, 5 min MAI dipping duration time, and 90 min perovskite annealing time.

Keywords: Perovskite solar cell; Inverted structure; Morphology; Photovoltaic performance.

Puangphen Hongdilokkul, Surawut Chuangchote*, Navadol Laosiripojana and Takashi Sagawa

Abstract: TiO2 synthesized from sol-microwave method were modified by Ag loading by wetness impregnation technique. Sintering atmosphere during the photocatalyst preparation was adjusted by change of gases. In order to compare with Ag-TiO2 calcined under air condition (conventional condition), Ag-TiO2 was sintered under an inert (N2) atmosphere (instead of air) and Ag-TiO2 reduced in H2 atmospheres (sintering 2 times) were prepared. Morphology and physical properties of Ag-TiO2 were investigated by field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), and x-ray diffraction (XRD). It was found that metal loading and sintering conditions did not affect agglomeration morphologies. Ag-TiO2 photocatalysts sintered under N2 atmospheres or ones reduced under H2 could absorb more light as shown in gray or dark color. With 1%wt Ag loading on TiO2, Ag peaks could not be found in XRD patterns. Anyway, Ag existing could be confirmed by EDS in FESEM images. Ag contents in Ag-TiO2 sintered under N2 or reduced in H2 gas were found to be higher compared with one calcined in air. This implied that in Ag-TiO2 sintered under N2 or reduced in H2 gasses, Ag0 phase was greater formed compared with Ag+ phase. Photocatalytic activity of synthesized TiO2 was studied in order to apply in conversion of a waste from lignocellulosic biomass utilizations, i.e. lignin. In order to determine photocatalytic activity, lignin conversions were carried out with Ag-TiO2 samples under UV-A irradiation for 5 h. The results showed that photocatalytic activities of TiO2 could be improved by Ag loading. However, in term of sintering atmosphere, sintering under inert (N2) atmosphere and re-sintering (reduced form) provided poorer photocatalytic activity than conventional calcination under air condition. This indicated that Ag+ phase played an important role in Ag-TiO2 activity of lignin conversion under UV irradiation.

Keywords: Photocatalyst, Lignin conversion, TiO2, Silver loading, Sintering.