Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 18, pp 17654–17664 | Cite as

Energy and environmental impact analysis of rice cultivation and straw management in northern Thailand

  • Sanwasan Yodkhum
  • Sate Sampattagul
  • Shabbir H. Gheewala
Research Article


Rice cultivation and energy use for rice production can produce the environmental impacts, especially related to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Also, rice straw open burning by farmers generally practiced after harvesting stage in Thailand for removing the residues in the rice field is associated with emissions of air pollutants, especially particulate matter formation that affects human health and global climate. This study assessed the environmental burdens, consisting of GHG emissions, energy use, and particulate matter formation (PM10), from rice cultivation in Thailand by life cycle assessment (LCA) and compared the environmental burdens of rice straw management scenarios: open burning, incorporation into soil, and direct combustion for electricity generation. The data were collected from the rice production cooperative in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand, via onsite records and face-to-face questionnaires in 2016. The environmental impacts were evaluated from cradle-to-farm gate. The results showed that the total GHG emissions were 0.64 kg CO2-eq per kilogram of paddy rice, the total energy use was 1.80 MJ per kilogram of paddy rice and the PM10 emissions were 0.42 g PM10-eq per kilogram of paddy rice. The results of rice straw management scenarios showed that rice straw open burning had the highest GHG and PM10 emissions. However, rice straw utilization by incorporation into soil and direct combustion for electricity generation could reduce these impacts substantially.


Life cycle assessment (LCA) Rice cultivation Rice straw management Thailand 



The authors wish to express their gratitude to the Keelak Rice Production Cooperative (KRPC) for the rice cultivation data support and the Center of Excellent on Energy, Economic and Ecological Management (3E), Science and Technology Research Institute, Chiang Mai University.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EngineeringChiang Mai UniversityChiang MaiThailand
  2. 2.Center of Excellent on Energy, Economic and Ecological Management, Science and Technology Research InstituteChiang Mai UniversityChiang MaiThailand
  3. 3.The Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment (JGSEE)King Mongkut’s University of Technology ThonburiBangkokThailand
  4. 4.Center of Excellence on Energy Technology and Environment, PERDOBangkokThailand

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