Potential Evaluation of Bioenergy Production from Maize Crop Based on Water Footprint Approach

Document Type : Research Article


1 PhD student in Water Sciences and Engineering – Water Resources, College of Aburaihan, University of Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Renewable Energies and Environment, Faculty of New Sciences and Technologies, University of Tehran, Iran


The development of energy supply from biomass to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has led to a focus on producing important crops from energy perspective which culminated in water consumption increase. Therefore, in this study for analyzing the water and bioenergy nexus, an index called water footprint was used. In this regard, information about maize in the plains of the Khuzestan province was collected. Based on the calculations, it was found that the water footprint of maize crop in the province has an average of 3355.6 m3/ton and the biomass water footprint is equal to 214.9 m3/ton. Moreover, in the study of water footprint of maize biomass, it was found that the highest and the lowest water footprints devoted to Behbahan plain (27.1 m3/GJ) and Abbas Abad plain (10 m3/GJ), respectively. Accordingly, Khuzestan province with an average of 13 m3/GJ, has a better condition in terms of water consumption in compared to countries such as Zimbabwe, Brazil and the United States, with a water footprint of 200, 39 and 18 m3/GJ, respectively. Mapping the biomass energy production potential with the water footprint approach also showed that water footprint in southeastern plains of the province (especially Behbahan, Omidieh, and Hendijan) are in the interval between 12 up to 27.1 m3/GJ and have low priority for biomass production. In contrast, the northern and eastern plains (especially Abbas Abad, Andimeshk, Sidon and Qaleh Tal) with bioenergy water footprints of 10 to 10.9 m3/GJ have high priority to the use of maize biomass for energy production.


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Volume 7, Issue 1
April 2020
Pages 121-129
  • Receive Date: 06 November 2019
  • Revise Date: 31 January 2020
  • Accept Date: 31 January 2020
  • First Publish Date: 20 March 2020
  • Publish Date: 20 March 2020