The economic and environmental assessment of castor oil supply chain

Alessandro Suardi, Walter Stefanoni, Francesco Latterini, Roberto Pari, Sandu Lazar, Ana Luisa Fernando, Nadia Palmieri

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Among the species cultivated for industrial vegetable oil production, castor could be a good crop for future investments due to the good resistance to pests, tolerance to drought, and suitability for marginal lands cultivation. The paper presents results of the environmental impact assessment and economic feasibility of the production of castor oil from two different castor hybrids comparing four by-products management scenarios and two harvesting systems. Castor hybrid C-856 harvested manually and that involved only the soil incorporation of press cake obtained by the oil extraction resulted as the most sustainable. The hybrid C-1030 resulted as more profitable than C-856 when harvested with the combine harvester. The ratio between gross margin and GWP emissions was applied to calculate the economic performance (gross margin) per unit of environmental burden. Findings showed that Sc1B scenario in case of C-856 cultivar hybrid had a better ratio between economic performance and greenhouse gas (GHG) emitted into the atmosphere (€3.75 per kg CO2eq).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1184-1188
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Biomass Conference and Exhibition Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event29th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, EUBCE 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 26 Apr 202129 Apr 2021


  • Bioeconomy
  • By-product
  • Castor oil
  • Economic assessment
  • LCA
  • Residue management
  • Ricinus communis, L


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