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Water footprint of Mallee biomass production in Western Australia

Guo, Zihao (2017) Water footprint of Mallee biomass production in Western Australia. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Mallee is a specific plant in Australia. In Western Australia, because of the economic and large-scale production of the mallee biomass, it is regarded as an important biological feedstock, which can be used to manage the salinization and water quality as well as recover the biological diversity. However, people are also worried about its influence on water because the large-scale production of the biological fuel might bring pressure to the fresh water. The life cycle water footprint assessment can evaluate the influence of mallee on the water resource. It can be a sustainable and effective system analysis tool of the water. Based on the weather and crops’ information of 31 places producing mallee in Western Australia, this research uses Cropwat 8.0 software to simulate the growth of mallee, thus conducting analysis the water footprint of the life cycle in the mallee planting period. In addition, Digimizer software, as well as the assumption and analysis to the mallee harvesting and farm transportation system, have also been utilized to calculate and analyze the consumed blue water. The result indicates that the water footprint in the life cycle of mallee is 1371m3/ton, in which the blue water consumption reaches 1102m3/ton while the green water and gray water are respectively 164m3/ton and 104m3/ton. In addition to this, this thesis also conducts sensitivity analysis to the analyzed results. All uncertain values are also estimated on the ranges. Finally, the analysis methods are evaluated and summarized, thus putting forward some improvement methods.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor(s): Gao, Xiangpeng
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