Next Article in Journal
A Study on Designing Balloon Expandable Magnesium Alloy Stent for Optimization of Mechanical Characteristics
Previous Article in Journal
Investigation of the Interstitial Pore Pressure of Saturated Concrete under High Confinement
Article Menu
Issue 8 (ICEM 2018) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessProceedings

Direct Use of Geothermal Resources for Circular Food Production

Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iceland, Hjardarhaga 2-6, IS-107 Reykjavik, Iceland
Faculty of Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Iceland, Hjardarhaga 2-6, IS-107 Reykjavik, Iceland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at the 18th International Conference on Experimental Mechanics (ICEM18), Brussels, Belgium, 1–5 July 2018.
Proceedings 2018, 2(8), 497;
Published: 28 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of ICEM 2018)
PDF [241 KB, uploaded 16 July 2018]


The objectives of the work are to increase the direct use of geothermal resources for circular food production systems. The focus is on circular agricultural production processes: combining recirculating aquaculture systems and hydroponics into one system, including water treatment and waste recovery processes. The main outputs are vegetables, fish, fertilizers and potentially, algae and biogas. These outputs can generate revenue streams that can cover the costs of heat extraction while supporting viable businesses. The results and conclusions from a pilot case that was conducted in Iceland in recent years are presented, and the next steps are discussed. The pilot setup is now in the process of expansion to a semi-commercial production unit. However, there are still scientific, technical and commercial challenges to be solved. The scientific challenges are interdisciplinary and relate mainly to the optimization of the overall production system. Optimization involves creating good environmental conditions for each production unit while maintaining optimal oxygen, carbon dioxide, relevant pH and temperature levels and supplying all necessary nutrients. Additionally, accumulation of salts or other unwanted substances must be prevented. The primary technical challenges are to develop the circular food production system for optimized production while controlling the expenditure of energy, water, nutrients and manpower resources. Optimization also involves careful choices of species and the integration of new ideas into the value chain, both of which increase the synergy between the different components of the system. Furthermore, energy efficiency needs to be improved through using excess heat for other parts of the system and developing enhanced heating and cooling cycles. The aim is to transform the semi-commercial unit into a showcase model for solving commercial challenges while presenting a feasible business model for installing and operating a geothermal well for circular food production, making the most use of all available resources, securing optimum production conditions and minimizing waste.
Keywords: direct use; geothermal; aquaculture; hydroponics; aquaponics; feasibility direct use; geothermal; aquaculture; hydroponics; aquaponics; feasibility
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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Thorarinsdottir, R.; Unnthorsson, R. Direct Use of Geothermal Resources for Circular Food Production. Proceedings 2018, 2, 497.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Proceedings EISSN 2504-3900 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top