Short Summary “Exergy analysis in industrial food processing”
The sustainable provision of food on a global scale in the near future is a very serious challenge. This thesis focuses on the assessment and design of sustainable industrial food production chains and processes by using the concept of exergy which is an objective metric based on the first and second law of thermodynamics. Three case studies are presented, two on a chain level (industrial bread and mushroom production), and one on a process level (conceptual spray drying of a lactose solution). Furthermore, industrial food production chains are categorized as thermodynamic archetypes and general rules are derived for their sustainable design exergy-wise. Additional methodological aspects related to e.g. the impact of system boundaries, the allocation of exergy values to waste streams, and the influence of the selection of the environment of reference on the outcome of the analysis, are also discussed.