Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cutting carbon emissions in the food industry

04.11.2005


Polluting carbon dioxide emissions generated by the food industry are the target of a new £800,000 research project involving The University of Nottingham.

Experts will look at new ways of cutting the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) created by the food processing industry — a major energy consumer through its reliance on cooking, refrigeration, freezing and air compressor systems.

The Carbon Vision project will be one of the biggest investigations ever undertaken into the understanding of how to cut carbon emissions, which are implicated in global warming.



By bringing together some of the UK’s leading academics and industrialists, the project aims to help the energy-intensive food industry to contribute to ambitious government targets on carbon dioxide reduction.

Researchers at the Universities of Nottingham, Bath, Bristol and Manchester are joining forces with companies such as Unilever, Northern Foods, Hygrade Foods, Baxi Technology and CompAir on the project. It is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Professor Saffa Riffat, of the School of the Built Environment at The University of Nottingham, said: “I am delighted to work on the EPSRC/Carbon Vision project.

“The project is important and timely in view of the UK Government’s commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 60% by 2050. Reduction of CO2 emissions using innovative cooling, heating and power generation systems could play a key role in reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions in the food industry.

“We are very pleased to collaborate on the project with two major companies, Northern Foods and the Baxi Group as well as with several UK universities."

One approach to the problem is by combining refrigeration, heating and electricity generation. This single process, known as trigeneration, could convert up to 90 per cent of the energy contained in the primary fuel into a usable energy with a huge reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

A second route to possible large savings in heating and cooling is air cycle refrigeration. Technologies such as these have been developed for many years but have not been applied widely in industry.

Professor Peter Reason, of the University of Bath School of Management and Director of the Centre for Action Research in Professional Practice, is leading the Carbon Vision project.

He said: “Although low-carbon technologies are available, many of the reasons for not using them are social, organisational and psychological.

“Although recent publicity around sustainability issues and climate change has increased awareness, and there is a growing sense of common concern in society, people generally feel powerless in the face of planetary-level events such as climate change.

“Addressing this issue will be vitally important as the UK comes to make bigger transformations in the move towards the 60 per cent carbon-reduction target.”

The project is part of the larger Carbon Vision research programme, a multi-million pound drive to explore low-carbon options for the future.

Also being investigated is a business strategy rather than a technological innovation. External companies typically supply heating, cooling and compressed air as services to the food industry, rather than simply selling equipment for these purposes.

Nicholas Morley of Oakdene Hollins Ltd, a key participant on the project, said: “Such technologies and business approaches are frequently ‘stalled’. In other words the rate of adoption has been slow despite their theoretical advantages.

“The consortium will explore systematically how such ‘stalled’ solutions can be used not only at the local level of a plant, but how they can be rolled out more widely as part of an overall business strategy at national policy level.”

Tim Utton | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/public-affairs/press-releases/index.phtml?menu=pressreleases&code=CUT-162/05&create_date=03-nov-2005

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists team up on study to save endangered African penguins
16.11.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

nachricht Climate change: Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
13.11.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>