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Reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from global dairy processing facilities


  • Xu, Tengfang
  • Flapper, Joris


Global butter, concentrated milk, and milk powder products use approximately 15% of annual raw milk production. Similar to cheese and fluid milk, dairy processing of these products can be energy intensive. In this paper, we analyzed production and energy data compiled through extensive literature reviews on butter, concentrated milk, milk and whey powder processing across various countries and plants. Magnitudes of national final and primary specific energy consumption (SEC) exhibited large variations across dairy products; in addition, the final SEC of individual plants and products exhibited significant variations within a country and between countries. Furthermore, we quantified national energy intensity indicators (EIIs) accounting for dairy product mixes and technological advancement. The significant variations of SEC and EII values indicate a high degree of likelihood that there is significant potential for energy savings in the global dairy processing industry. Based upon the study samples, we estimate potential energy savings for dairy processing industry in selected countries, and estimates annual reduction of 9-14 million metric-ton carbon-equivalent1 could be achieved if measures are implemented to lower SEC values by 50-80% in half of global dairy plants. The paper calls for publication of more energy data from the dairy processing industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Xu, Tengfang & Flapper, Joris, 2011. "Reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from global dairy processing facilities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 234-247, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:39:y:2011:i:1:p:234-247

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ramírez, C.A. & Patel, M. & Blok, K., 2006. "From fluid milk to milk powder: Energy use and energy efficiency in the European dairy industry," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 1984-2004.
    2. Xu, Tengfang & Flapper, Joris & Kramer, Klaas Jan, 2009. "Characterization of energy use and performance of global cheese processing," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 34(11), pages 1993-2000.
    3. Xu, Tengfang & Flapper, Joris, 2009. "Energy use and implications for efficiency strategies in global fluid-milk processing industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5334-5341, December.
    4. Sims, Ralph E. H. & Rogner, Hans-Holger & Gregory, Ken, 2003. "Carbon emission and mitigation cost comparisons between fossil fuel, nuclear and renewable energy resources for electricity generation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(13), pages 1315-1326, October.
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    1. repec:eee:energy:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:67-81 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:rensus:v:77:y:2017:i:c:p:336-343 is not listed on IDEAS


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