Next Article in Journal
Thermal Efficiency Comparison of Borehole Heat Exchangers with Different Drillhole Diameters
Previous Article in Journal
Islanding Detection Method of a Photovoltaic Power Generation System Based on a CMAC Neural Network
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Energies 2013, 6(8), 4170-4186; doi:10.3390/en6084170

Energy Analysis of the Danish Food Production System: Food-EROI and Fossil Fuel Dependency

Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Søltofts Plads, Kgs. Lyngby 2800, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 May 2013 / Revised: 18 July 2013 / Accepted: 18 July 2013 / Published: 15 August 2013
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [240 KB, uploaded 17 March 2015]

Abstract

Modern food production depends on limited natural resources for providing energy and fertilisers. We assess the fossil fuel dependency for the Danish food production system by means of Food Energy Returned on fossil Energy Invested (Food-EROI) and by the use of energy intensive nutrients from imported livestock feed and commercial fertilisers. The analysis shows that the system requires 221 PJ of fossil energy per year and that for each joule of fossil energy invested in farming, processing and transportation, 0.25 J of food energy is produced; 0.28 when crediting for produced bioenergy. Furthermore, nutrients in commercial fertiliser and imported feed account for 84%, 90% and 90% of total supply of N, P and K, respectively. We conclude that the system is unsustainable because it is embedded in a highly fossil fuel dependent system based on a non-circular flow of nutrients. As energy and thus nutrient constraints may develop in the coming decades, the current system may need to adapt by reducing use of fossil energy at the farm and for transportation of food and feed. An operational strategy may be to relocalise the supply of energy, nutrients, feed and food. View Full-Text
Keywords: Peak Oil; fertiliser; food-EROI; energy analysis; agriculture; food; feed; transport; bioenergy Peak Oil; fertiliser; food-EROI; energy analysis; agriculture; food; feed; transport; bioenergy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Markussen, M.V.; Østergård, H. Energy Analysis of the Danish Food Production System: Food-EROI and Fossil Fuel Dependency. Energies 2013, 6, 4170-4186.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Energies EISSN 1996-1073 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top