A Novel Concept for Sustainable Food Production Utilizing Low Temperature Industrial Surplus Heat
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Low temperature industrial surplus heat represents a major energy source that is currently only rarely utilized due to its low quality. An agricluster allows for the leveraging of this low-quality heat and, hence, may improve the overall energy efficiency. This paper presents the novel concept of an agricluster driven by available surplus heat from industrial processes. We propose the integration of greenhouse production, insect rearing, fish rearing, and drying of seaweed using low temperature surplus heat from the aluminum industry. Each of these processes is already used in or investigated for utilization of surplus heat and partly coupled with other processes, such as in aquaponics. However, the integration of all processes in an agricluster—as proposed in this paper—may result in improved utilization of the surplus heat due to the different seasonality of the heat demand. The potential synergies of this integration approach are discussed in this paper. Furthermore, waste from one process can be utilized as an input stream to other processes, reducing the demand for external material input to the system. The proposed concept of an agricluster is especially interesting for the Nordic countries, as they are dependant on fresh food imports due to the low outside temperatures.