Energy Efficiency in the Food and Beverage Industry




Greater Copenhagen area

Increasing the energy efficiency of the industrial sector has the potential to significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the burning of fossil fuels and to reduce the operating costs.

The food and beverage industry is especially a major industrial sector in Denmark and Europe and represents of more than 10% of the private sectors total energy consumption. The food and beverage industry is water-intensive as well, as large amounts of water is used for cleaning purposes, process additives etc. Similarly, the amounts of waste water are significant and represents a large operating cost to handle due to requirements for treatment etc.

The project will focus on analyzing the production processes and energy use at the factory to determine the current degree of integration and to determine waste heat sources. Based on collected data and information, detailed energy and water end use are to be established and thermodynamic models need to be developed and validated. Methods such as pinch analysis and process integration may be applied to find optimization potentials, which are quantified and evaluated, based on private-economic analyses.


The part of the factory, which is of interest in this project, is responsible for pressing rapeseed and extracting the oil. The rapeseed has to be thermally treated before being pressed and the remainder of the oil is extracted using a solvent. Both of the oils are cooled to a storage temperature of before being stored.

The aim of the project is to carry out an in-depth study of energy use and opportunities for energy efficiency measures. The project will consist of the following elements:

(i) establish a complete overview of energy use in the facility

(ii) establish a complete overview of waste energy and waste water in the facility

(iii) analyze temperature and quality aspects of all identified energy and water/waste water streams

(iv) identify opportunities for optimizing energy and water usage in the facility

a. via source optimization

b. via process integration/heat recovery

c. via re-use of water

(v) prepare business cases for selected investment projects to minimize energy and water consumption

(vi) evaluate general aspects of applied methods and approaches in a broader context


The project can further include elements such as modelling of heat exchangers and thermal storages; Feasibility studies; Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis; The scientific focus of the project can be discussed and any suggestions from students are very welcome.

The project is to be carried out by one or two students, and will to a certain extent be carried out at an industrial production facility in southern Sweden and in collaboration with engineering consultants. It is expected that energy and water balances are to be partly established via measurement programs in the facility.

The master thesis project will be carried out in collaboration with industrial partners from the energy consultancy (Viegand Maagøe), the food ingredients facility AAK in Karlshamn and relevant suppliers of equipment and solutions within the energy and water sector. The candidate(s) will be supervised and supported by members of the Section for Thermal Energy at the Mechanical Engineering department at DTU.


The students are required to have a strong background in thermodynamics and energy engineering. Knowledge about pinch analysis, heat exchanger networks, energy efficiency and industrial production is beneficial. As the work will be in close collaboration with several industrial partners, the students are required to show a high level of organizational and communication skills (e.g. organize project meetings, factory visits, organizing data collection with partners).

In collaboration with

Viegand Maagøe A/S; AAK

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Technical University of Denmark

For almost two centuries DTU, Technical University of Denmark, has been dedicated to fulfilling the vision of H.C. Ørsted – the father of electromagnetism – who founded the university in 1829 to develop and create value using the natural sciences and the technical sciences to benefit society.

Today, DTU is ranked as one of the foremost technical universities in Europe, continues to set new records in the number of publications, and persistently increases and develops our partnerships with industry, and assignments accomplished by DTU’s public sector consultancy.

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