Selecting sustainable energy conversion technologies for agricultural residues: A fuzzy AHP-VIKOR based prioritization from life cycle perspective

Bo Wang, Junnian Song, Jingzheng Ren, Kexin Li, Haiyan Duan, Xian'en Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)


The improper disposal of agriculture residues (ARs) (such as open burning of straw) in China leads to waste of energy potential and atmospheric environmental problems. Converting ARs to energy is of importance for regional energy and environmental sustainability. In order to help decision-makers select optimal technologies among multiple alternatives and promote the development of ARs-to-energy industries, this study conducts integrated assessment and prioritization of seven bioenergy technologies (BETs). A criteria system consisting of four aspects (environmental, technological, economic and social aspects, in total 15 criteria) is constructed. Life cycle environmental and techno-economic assessments are conducted within the boundary ranging from ARs collection and transportation, energy conversion to final use of bioenergy products. Combined with the results of the life cycle assessments and the advices from two groups of experts, the fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) is adopted to determine the weights of the criteria and quantify the performances of the BETs. Based on the results of the fuzzy AHP, the VIKOR method is finally employed to determine the sustainability sequence of the BETs. From single-dimensional performance, direct-combustion power generation has the best environmental benefit; briquette fuel has the best economic benefit. From performances of integrated-dimensions, direct-combustion power generation, gasification power generation and briquette fuel are recognized as the most sustainable technologies under both the environmental priority situation and economic priority situation. The methods and results presented are expected to provide reference to development planning of ARs as well as other types of bioenergy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-87
Number of pages10
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • Agricultural residues
  • Bioenergy technology
  • Fuzzy AHP
  • Life cycle assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Economics and Econometrics


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