Danish Town of Kalundborg Implements Valuable Industrial Resource Management Model

Danish Town of Kalundborg Implements Valuable Industrial Resource Management Model

For over 30 years, industry development in the Danish town has flourished on integrated industries in which input and output sources are used as a resource wherever possible.

A flourishing infrastructure for sustainability depends on many factors—from use of technologies that allow processing of various inputs into numerous resources that can be used; local and federal regulations and policies that enable businesses to collaborate with one another in sustainable ways; to the location of businesses themselves that helps determine logistics.

Kalundborg Symbiosis

A diagram describing the Kalundborg Symbiosis

Industrial activity in the region of Kalundborg in Denmark started in 1972, and over the years it laid the foundations for cooperation between the companies based in Kalundborg and the municipality itself. The collaboration has nourished a sentiment of synergy among the local-based companies that lead to the creation of an industrial ecosystem, nowadays known as Kalundborg Symbiosis.

To help communities engage in such collaborations takes initial effort between public and private partners, including the municipality and businesses, to advocate for and implement such goals. Investments in additional infrastructure is also usually at stake when taking such steps. But both the short- and long-term payoff is considerable, noting both economic and environmental impacts of such measures.

The exchanges in input and output resources usually take place under the following scenario:

  1. The excess steam from the Asnaes Power Plant is transferred to Kalundborg’s heat station and sold to both Statoil and Novo Nordisk which use it as an incoming heat source for their refinery and production lines processes.
  2. The treated wastewater from Statoil is exported back to the Asnaes Plant as cooling water or condensed steam.
  3. At the same time, Gyproc receives industrial plaster from the Asnaes Plant which is used as feedstock for producing plasterboards. It also receives excess gas as an input energy source from Statoil.
  4. The by-product of the yeast fermentation process that is being used for insulin production at Novo Nordisk is sold as fertilizer to local farmers or is converted into yeast slurry, which later is used in animals feed mixes.

Thereby, the Kalundborg Symbiosis participants swap residual materials for mutual benefit, on the premise that the output products from one enterprise can be used as cheap inputs by another company.

The economic and environmental impacts are significant, not only for cost savings of $160 million, but also:

  • Yearly CO2 emission reduced by 240,000 tons.
  • 3 million m3 of water saved through recycling and reuse.
  • 30,000 tons of straw converted to 5.4 million liters of ethanol.
  • 150,000 tons of yeast replaces 70% of soy protein in traditional feed mix for more than 800,000 pigs.
  • Recycling of 150,000 tons of gypsum from desulphurization of flue gas (SO2) replaces import of natural gypsum (CaSO4).

In essence, this model embodies the idea of benefits gained from tightly-integrated yet diverse technologies, working together to create benefits greater than the sum of their parts. Team Gemini follows a similar approach to structuring its projects—working with its team members to maximize resource creation while turning waste into commodities like electricity, thermal energy, biofuels, fertilizer and compost, and more.

To learn more about just some of Team Gemini’s technologies that enable fully renewable communities, visit http://teamgemini.us/technologies/. Consider subscribing to our RSS feed or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay in the loop about future updates.

For the original article on the town’s industrial waste management developments, you can check out this link. The symbiosis development has its own web site at http://www.symbiosis.dk/en/.