ABSTRACT: The potential of fossil fuels is limited and their utilisation for energy purposes has considerable negative effects on the environment. The utilisation of biomass as energy source is a promising alternative for energy generation from renewables, which could significantly contribute to cover the energy demand of the industrial sector. Especially the energy demand of the food industry, which is one of the highest industrial energy user, can be covered by a high extent with biomass.
The utilisation of bioenergy as renewable energy source for the industry can significantly reduce CO2 emissions and fossil fuel use, but the role that biomass plays in the covering of the industrial energy consumption in the food processing sector is nowadays rather marginal. There is still a lack of information and studies related to the analysis of possibilities of biomass-based energy utilisation within the food processing industry. One of such initiatives is the Greenfoods project, which aims to lead the European food and beverage industry to high-energy efficiency and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
In general there is a high variety of biomass conversion technologies, which offer many possibilities to supply food processing companies with secondary and final energy carriers. The work presented in the paper provides an overview of opportunities and barriers related to the utilisation of biomass as an energy source for the food processing industry. In the presented study, six main bioenergy technologies (combustion, gasification, pyrolysis, anaerobic digestion, fermentation and biodiesel production) were analysed with respect to their parameters and applicability as energy sources for the food and beverage industry.
Keywords: bioenergy, cogeneration, industrial application, CO2 reduction