Food for Thought Award
Climate protection has become one of the most important areas for action in sustainable development of cement and food industries over recent years. The German cement industry has always made efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, increase energy efficiency and conserve natural resources. There has been almost a double decrease in CO2 emissions per unit of cement production since the end of previous century due to the increased energy use from alternative sources and reduction of emissions in technological processes. Food industry, at the same time, is seeking to reduce its reliance on raw materials from natural ecosystems. That’s why a lot of efforts are devoted to a more efficient food production and search for alternative sources of carbon for food.
Circular economy is a well-known concept and theoretical framework promoting reuse and recycling of wastes. In practice such an approach is comlicated by many technical challenges, and often results in rebound effects. The avoidance of unexpected consequences is often foreseen in upcycling concepts, when wastes of one industry are becoming a structural material for new materials or products with better quality or better environmental value.
The HeidelbergCement has set its own impact reduction framework “Sustainability Commitments 2030” aiming for continuous reduction of carbon footprint and increased use of alternative resources as substitutes to raw materials. That’s why The HeidelbergCement Group is searching for innovative solutions for interconnections between industries to support the Sustainable Development Goals.
This Challenge provides contribution to the following Sustainable Development Goals:
Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Sustainable cities and communities
Responsible consumption and production
This is a Theoretical Challenge that requires a written proposal to be submitted with further pitch presentation. To receive an award, the Solvers will not have to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the Seeker. Instead, Solvers will grant to the Seeker a non-exclusive license to practice their solutions.
Specification on challenge tasks
CO2 from many industries can be transformed into biomass/proteins, but often at a considerable cost (energy use, infrastructure costs etc.). Propose sustainable solutions and justify them with “hard” LCA data for the utilization of CO2 emissions from cement industry to produce biomass/proteins. Demonstrate efficiency of biomass production comparing to conventional methods and potential for CO2 emissions reduction. Solutions should demonstrate a win-win model.
In hot summers (like the one in 2018) European food grade CO2 production is not able to cover the demand of food and beverage industry. On the other hand, there are industries (like cement production) which are the constant generators of CO2, but such carbon dioxide gas is hard to extract and purify (mix with other gases and dust). Cement industry could potentially cover the demand for CO2 by supplying a food grade gas. Propose a sustainable solution for food grade CO2 extraction (purification) from cement kilns (justify with means of LCA).
All winners will be honored with certificates and trophies, announced publicly and highlighted on the web-site and conference materials, as well as on mass media.
Please answer all questions within the word limit defined.