Water and carbon footprint improvement for dried tomato value chain
The water and carbon footprint of the presented dried tomato value chain is compared to the conventional process. The coupling of pre- and post-harvest processes, namely growing and drying respectively, is analyzed for resource consumption optimization. The growing system of tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicon L. cv, Pannovy) in an energy efficient greenhouse (operating as a solar thermal collector) is databased; while the post-harvest process consists of a model-based solar drying system. The thermodynamic operation zones (temperature, humidity and enthalpy) are detailed to apply energy interaction between both processes. The results of the monthly record of a season show that the water footprint was reduced from 91 to 51.1 L kg−1 with a standard deviation from 53.2 to 12.4 L kg−1. The carbon footprint was reduced from 40.2 to 11 kg kg−1 with a standard deviation from 23.9 to 11.4 kg carbon dioxide kg−1. From the observed variation from monthly values, the relevance of the seasonal effect on resources needed for implementing process improvements is highlighted. The use of renewable energy and energy efficiency concepts is shown to have a positive impact when applied at industrial level in ‘compound industries’ that share sub-processes in the value chains.
Ramírez, T.; Meas, Y.; Dannehl, D.; Schuch, I.; Miranda, L.; Rocksch, T.; Schmidt, U. 2016. Water and carbon footprint improvement for dried tomato value chain. Journal of Cleaner Production 104, 98-108.