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Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020446

Food-Energy Interactive Tradeoff Analysis of Sustainable Urban Plant Factory Production Systems

1
Department of Bio-Industry Communication and Development, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
2
Department of Agricultural Economics, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
3
Department of Business Administration, Hsuan Chuang University, No. 48, Hsuan Chuang Road, Hsinchu City 300, Taiwan
4
Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 4 February 2018 / Published: 8 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Abstract

This research aims to analyze the food–energy interactive nexus of sustainable urban plant factory systems. Plant factory systems grow agricultural products within artificially controlled growing environment and multi-layer vertical growing systems. The system controls the supply of light, temperature, humidity, nutrition, water, and carbon dioxide for growing plants. Plant factories are able to produce consistent and high-quality agricultural products within less production space for urban areas. The production systems use less labor, pesticide, water, and nutrition. However, food production of plant factories has many challenges including higher energy demand, energy costs, and installation costs of artificially controlled technologies. In the research, stochastic optimization model and linear complementarity models are formulated to conduct optimal and equilibrium food–energy analysis of plant factory production. A case study of plant factories in the Taiwanese market is presented. View Full-Text
Keywords: food–energy tradeoff; plant factory; stochastic programming; market equilibrium food–energy tradeoff; plant factory; stochastic programming; market equilibrium
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Huang, L.-C.; Chen, Y.-H.; Chen, Y.-H.; Wang, C.-F.; Hu, M.-C. Food-Energy Interactive Tradeoff Analysis of Sustainable Urban Plant Factory Production Systems. Sustainability 2018, 10, 446.

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