Environmentally-friendly and efficient production of high-quality products from our natural (agricultural) resources will be one of the key challenges for the coming decades.
It is surprising that in the conversion from harvested crops to the products that the consumer uses or eats, the majority of the materials is lost, while large amounts of energy and water are consumed. At the same time, large volumes of waste water and solid wastes are generated. That would change if we could process with more efficiency and more effectiveness. But how do you weigh energy consumption against water consumption? Raw materials usage against waste water production?
There are many methods available to obtain an idea of sustainability and efficiency, but many of these require the evaluator to make many arbitrary choices. In this course we will follow a method which does not require that: exergy. This is a well-defined, thermodynamic concept that allows us to objectively judge the efficiency in a system.