University of Oulu

Marzieh Hasanzadeh Saray, Aziza Baubekova, Alireza Gohari, Seyed Saeid Eslamian, Bjorn Klove, Ali Torabi Haghighi, Optimization of Water-Energy-Food Nexus considering CO2 emissions from cropland: A case study in northwest Iran, Applied Energy, Volume 307, 2022, 118236, ISSN 0306-2619,

Optimization of Water-Energy-Food Nexus considering CO₂ emissions from cropland : a case study in northwest Iran

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Author: Hasanzadeh Saray, Marzieh1,2; Baubekova, Aziza1; Gohari, Alireza2;
Organizations: 1Water Resources and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, Finland
2Department of Water Engineering, College of Agriculture, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran
3Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), Norway
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2021-12-22


Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus and CO₂ emissions for a farm in northwest Iran were analyzed to provide data support for decision-makers formulating national strategies in response to climate change. In the analysis, input–output energy in the production of seven crop species (alfalfa, barley, silage corn, potato, rapeseed, sugar beet, and wheat) was determined using six indicators, water, and energy consumption, mass productivity, and economic productivity. WEF Nexus index (WEFNI), calculated based on these indicators, showed the highest (best) value for silage corn and the lowest for potato. Nitrogen fertilizer and diesel fuel with an average of 36.8% and 30.6% of total input energy were the greatest contributors to energy demand. Because of the direct relationship between energy consumption and CO₂ emissions, potato cropping, with the highest energy consumption, had the highest CO₂ emissions with a value of 5166 kg CO₂eq ha⁻¹. A comparison of energy inputs and CO₂ emissions revealed a direct relationship between input energy and global warming potential. A 1 MJ increase in input energy increased CO₂ emissions by 0.047, 0.049, 0.047, 0.054, 0.046, 0.046, and 0.047 kg ha⁻¹ for alfalfa, barley, silage corn, potato, rapeseed, sugar beet, and wheat, respectively. Optimization assessments to identify the optimal cultivation pattern, with emphasis on maximized WEFNI and minimized CO₂ emissions, showed that barley, rapeseed, silage corn, and wheat performed best under the conditions studied.

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Series: Applied energy
ISSN: 0306-2619
ISSN-E: 1872-9118
ISSN-L: 0306-2619
Volume: 307
Article number: 118236
DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2021.118236
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1172 Environmental sciences
Copyright information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (