Residual Streams & Supply Chains
- How to create a circular production chain
- How to valorize remaining residual streams?
- How to organize an agrofood network as a participatory system?
- Knowledge & Expertise: Thermochemical conversion, water treatment, life cycle analysis, entrepreneurship and participatory systems design, data integration and prediction, real time tracking tracing, logistics, digital platforms, demand prediction and feedback, strategic behaviour
- Technologies: Fermentation, gasification, hydroponics, CO2 capturing, design for trust, design for empowerment and design for engagement. Distributed dynamic supply chain management
- Research history: Research on valorisation of animal manure, reducing emissions and a participatory framework for horti culture supply chain
The Netherlands is the second largest export country of agrifood products in the world. This industry is highly dependent on external raw materials, clean water, CO2, nutrients and (fossil) energy. Maintaining global supply chains is necessary for our food security, but due to global developments there is a risk that this can no longer be controlled on a national level. A more circular approach could reduce the consumption of scarce resources, while maintaining or even increasing the level of food production .
For greenhouse horticulture, water is commonly seen as a reusable resource. For example in hydroponicsthis is already widely applied. However, herbicides, pesticides, salts and other undesirable components can accumulate in the water during reuse and must be removed to an acceptable level. Besides water, CO2 is also a critical raw material in greenhouse horticulture, necessary for the growth of crops, for which this sector consumes a very large amount of natural gas for CO2 production.
Organic residual waste, such asauction run-off or crop residues, can be thermochemically converted by fermentation, gasification and fuel cells. This can make a major contribution to the circularity of Dutch agriculture in CO2, water vapor, minerals and electricity/heat. With the sustainably generated energy, high quality water reuse schemes can be set up to make the sector and our food supply less dependent on fossil fuels.
Understanding the horticultural supply chain also entails understanding the influence of strategic behaviour of all stakeholders in the chain through application of AI techniques for data analysis, agent-based gaming simulations and multi-agent systems to embrace the uncertainties involved. These insights provide grounds for exploration of new distributed market mechanisms and structures for the future.