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Edilene Pereira Andrade

PhD Programme: Nanoscience, Materials and Chemical Engineering

Research group: SUStainable Computer Aided Process Engineering

Supervisors: Laureano Jiménez Esteller (URV) & Assumpció Antón Vallejo (IRTA)


Edilene Pereira holds a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Engineering, obtained in February 2016 from the Federal University of Ceará, in Brazil. During her university years, she has actively participated in a range of activities, encompassing study areas such environmental education, environmental impact assessment and waste management. She has also participated in an exchange programme at University of Jaén, having received the Science without Borders scholarship. Her thesis to graduate in Environmental Engineering was "Life Cycle Assessment of Hydrogels to applicate in agriculture", developed in Embrapa Agroindustria Tropical in Brazil. During her graduation she did a Specialization course in Geoprocessing and analysis of water resources for one year and a half. To conclude this course, her thesis was developed applying the Method of Pfister et al. (2009) in watersheds in Ceara-Brazil, also with support from Embrapa. She completed her master's degree at the Federal University of Ceara, in the Civil Engineering Post-Graduation Program, with emphasis on Environmental Sanitation. This program has a maximum grade in the concept of the Ministry of Education of Brazil. The research she developed was focused on water scarcity, regionalizing characterization factors of the AWARE Model for the Brazilian Semiarid.

Project: Life-cycle assessment of agricultural engineering: Indicators for environmental quantification of nutrient flows and eutrophication impact assessment

Sustainable agricultural practices aim to maximize yield while minimizing environmental impacts through optimization techniques. To make good environmental decisions, it is necessary to identify and evaluate all relevant environmental impacts throughout the life cycle of a given production system. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a sustainability assessment tool that quantifies the environmental impacts that the resources used and the emissions of a production system cause throughout their life cycle. LCA's strength is that it takes a life cycle perspective (from the extraction of raw materials, production, use / consumption up to the waste management at the end of life) and covers a wide range of environmental issues (eutrophication, climate change, the toxic impacts of chemical products, the use of water, etc.), avoiding the externalization of environmental problems. To provide this global vision, LCA needs environmental indicators available worldwide. Therefore, current impact LCA methods are developed primarily as a TIER 1 approach (ie, simple methods with default values). However, there are some environmental problems that depend on the specific geoclimatic conditions of the site. For them, a TIER 1 approach is not precise enough and an adaptation of the models to local conditions is necessary. Agriculture, as an important source of nitrogen and phosphorus emissions in the form of nitrates and phosphates, is an important contributor to eutrophication. The impact of eutrophication is the result of an excess of nutrients in the environment, which leads to an increase in the production of biomass and the consequent degradation of water quality. Despite recent models developments to estimate the impact of fertilizer eutrophication, available methods still have many shortcomings to assess eutrophication problems in specific geographical contexts, such as the Mediterranean. One of her tesis objectives is to focus on the impacts of eutrophication to improve the most modern methods available.

Open Access publications

  • Performance and environmental accounting of nutrient cycling models to estimate nitrogen emissions in agriculture and their sensitivity in life cycle assessment. View full-text.
  • Using the available indicators of potential biodiversity damage for Life Cycle Assessment on soybean crop according to Brazilian ecoregions. View full-text.

International secondment

  • University of Copenhagen, Denmark. 2 months (2020).