ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT AND SUSTAINABILITY 9
Environmentalimpact and sustainability
Environmentalimpact and sustainability
Therole of whey processing is to convert cheese to its by-products,proteins, lactose, minerals proteins and water that are for humanconsumption.Inaddition to cheese, the major inputs into the system are energy andwater. Therefore, the key environmental impacts of the wheyprocessing plants are the solid waste generation, aquatic andatmospheric. They are determined by the quantity of waste produced,resources used and transports applied during the processing process.Efficientenergy and water resource management inwhey processing arecrucial for cost-effectivesustainability. Thesustainableenvironment isachievablethrough development and implementation of the best alternativetechnological practices and products that improve efficiency in theuse of resources, saves on cost and minimize negative environmentaland human impacts.
Wheymanufacturing, packaging,and transportation leadto the releaseof greens house gassesemission into the atmosphere (Aguirre, 2014). Greenhouse gassesleads to warming of the earth’s climate duetosolar radiation being emitted back to the earth. Carbonfootprint is the average amount of greenhousegassesassociated with a particular product. This value expresses theoverall contribution to the change in climate over a period. Whey processing is a major potential for greenhouse gas emissions.The modern dairy practices produce 1.2 kg of carbon dioxide per 1 kgof, milk. Combustion of fossil fuel during transportation of wheyproduct also contributes to smaller percentages carbon footprint.Other sources of emissions results when consumer through thepackaging container into landfills thus further contributing toemission of methane and carbon dioxide. The whey processing plant inTexas produces 3.5 billion kg of whey per annum. For every kg of wheyproduced, 1.2 kilogramsof carbondioxide result to greenhouse gas emissions.The carbon footprint the whey processing plant is 4.2 billionkilogramsof carbon dioxide (Clark, 2014).
Transportationis ranks as the second greatest contributor to greenhouse gasemissions inthe UnitedStatesafter electricity. It has asignificantand direct role in affecting the environment. On average, on roadvehicles contributes to 82% of the total emissions. From thetransport sector,the various mode of transportation contributing to this are lightduty trucks, medium-heavytrucks, ships and boats, rails and aircraft.Transportation helps in transporting of whey products to the desiredconsumer and transferring ofrawmaterials from the daily farmers to the production plant.
Processedwhey product will transported via roads and air networks to local andinternational consumers. The distance from the processing unit to theDFW international airport is approximately 25 miles. Use of air androad transport contributes to carbon dioxide emission and noisepollution. The location of the plant is also likely to increasetraffic congestion as a result of increased number of truck movingthe whey products from the factory to the consumer retail centersacross the United States and the DFW international airport.
Variousalternatives for reducing greenhouse gassesemissions includes the use of fuel efficient vehicles, use ofalternative fuels and reduction of miles driven (Darton, 2015). Each of the options above requires the involvement of both privateand public sector. Transportation plan activities are necessary todetermine how transportation systems are constructed and operated.Use of cleaner burning fuels is an alternative to for reducing carbonemission through transport some of thisalternative fuel arecurrentlyin use inTexas. The vehicles are now using low sulfur diesel.
Noiseis a potential hazard in whey processing operations. In the wheyprocessing unit, the sources of noise pollution include the wheyprocessing machines and the transportation system such as trains andmotor vehicles. The clarifier and the cream separator produces toomuch noise which may impair the workers hearing ability. High noiselevels may induce stresses and sleeplessness among the staff.Material flowing through pipes at high velocities is also a source ofnoise pollution.
Noisepollution not only affects human beings but also the communicationbetween wildlife animals. Texas Park is likely to be affected bynoise pollution for the whey processing plant. It is thereforeimportant that the noise levels be reduced to minimal to reduce iteffects to the wild animals, neighboring communities and the wheyplant processing unit staffs. Noiselevels needto be checked to ensure the safetyof the workers and for those working in noisy areas wear protectivegears (Kilara, 2015).
Wheyprocessing plants are a major source of atmospheric emissionsas a result of extensive use of energy.These plants consume large amounts of energy in heating of buildings,processing water, refrigeration,and transportation final products and raw materials. Use of largequantitiesof energy contributes to the emissionof greenhouse gasses,particularly carbon dioxide.Reduction of energy in whey processingis increasingly becoming important. Over the past few years, wheyprocessing plants have significantlyprogressed in the reducing their energy consumption through processcontrol and optimization. Recycling and energy recovery systems andsuitableproduction processes. This trend will continue a result ofenforcement of carbon trading system (Kosseva, 2013).
Theequipment to be designed for use in whey processing process needs tobe energy efficient. Regeneration is employed in milk pasteurizationto achieve high energy savings. Regeneration reduces the amount ofenergy required to heat milk to pasteurization temperature by 95 %.Multi-effectdesignisanotherprocessused inthe design process. Multi-effectevaporation means evaporation in different stages whereby thegenerated vapors areused for heatingin heating for the progressivestages.
Thecheese industry generates both solidwastessuch as packaging and liquid waste. In the olden days,these wastes weredumpedin landfills and afterthose posting far-reaching environmental concerns.The wastes contribute to greenhouse gassesemissions and use of water. Research that’s waste from the cheeseindustries contributed to 515 of the greenhouse gas emissions in theproduction storage and distribution phases. Therefore, waste forsuch industries requiresmanagement atseveral levels production,distribution, and consumption.Effective management systems aim at reducing the volume of waste andrecovering the value components from the waste followed by treatmentand finally discharge. Production of minimal waste isachievablethrough the adequatemanufacturingprocess, good manufacturing practice and appropriate equipment designand maintenance. Failure in any of these criteria reduces efficiencywhile increasing product losses.
Wastestream hasfor a long timeviewedas food processing by-products but they formadditionalrevenue avenues. Waste streams are processed further to extract allthe valuable components before discharging them. The value of theseelementsis increased whey processing from cheese is a good example. Back inthe days, wheyused to be animal food, but inthe modern days,it is used to produce high-valueproducts. Reverse osmosis helpsinthe production of lactose and proteins. The resulting waterconsumptionemployedin the
Watersustainability is a major issue in today’s society. Efficient useof water shouldis necessary forwhey processing plants. Statistics shows that 20% of the globalpopulation lacks access to clean water.The consumption of water for whey production plants will increase by50 percent. The deteriorating urban infrastructure environmentaldegradation and climate change arelikely to worsen the condition further. The amount of water disposedofas waste should be as minimal as possible.
Mitigationagainst waste water
Developmentsshould mainly focus on recycling and reusewater. In the olden days, water wasasplentiful and cheap in most parts of the world. Fromthe fact that water used to beplenty and free, people do not focus much on reducing its usage untilrecently when it started being sparse. Availability of laws has ledto reduced wastage of water. Water used for cleaning equipment andheat transfer process in addition to being used as raw materials. Theprocess design should aim at reducing the need for water. Some of thedesign options include water reuse water isreusedin between operations which arehighly dependent on the water quality. Regeneration recyclingthis involves use wastewater treatment plants within the sameoperations and lastly regenerationuse use of treated waste water in a different application from theone from which it Several steps areinvolvedthe firsts step is to remove the large particles followed by removalof additional materials through flocculation, aeration, andcoagulation. The process reduces odor, nutrient and particulatematter.
Foodquality and safety remaina top priority for whey processing plants as a result of theincreased number of adulteration, authenticity and food productsafety issues. Nevertheless, environmental sustainability is verycrucial to whey processing companies. Proper Management ofSustainabilityquality and safetywill ensure safetyand quality are maintained and still ensuring sustainability. Thebiggest challenge in the achievement of this goal is how to enablecompanies to make informed decisions. In addition to assessing theimpact of processing, whey processing companies should also look atthe wider supply and distribution chain and the products package. Thecompanies should apply a differentmethod of sustainability assessment toachieve this goal.
Sustainabilityin energy use
Themulti-effect evaporation and pasteurization are highly efficientprocesses in the heat recovery processes (Kreiser, 2013). An estimateof $70 savings could be realized annually and save up to 100,000 tco2 for the whey processing plants in Texas alone, overcomingthese goals is not an easy task.,there are somechallenges to be conquered. Recovering ambient heat up to 60degreesis quite difficult. Other than evaporation and pasteurizationprocess, other sources of heat waste processes include Refrigerators,Dryers,power plants, boilers, air compressors, kilns,and ovens.
Conventionalrefrigeration consumes muchenergy. Application of waste heat in driving alternativerefrigeration could reduce this consumption. Improving sustainabilityin the whey processing industry will requiretheuseof energy efficient methods coupled with high use of renewableenergies such as wind solar and bioenergy.These choices require combinationswith increased efficiency. Previous studies have shown thatapplication of renewable energies could save the powerconsumption by up to 60 %.Conversionof food waste to energy also plays a critical role in energy savings.
Aguirre-Villegas,H. A. (2014). Integratingdairy and bioenergy systems to achieve environmental sustainability:the influence of different lifecycle pathways on energy, greenhousegas emissions, and nutrients.Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest LLC.
Clark,S., Jung, S., & Lamsal, B. (2014). Foodprocessing: principles and applications.Chichester,West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Darton,R. C. (2015). Settinga policy for sustainability.Assessingand Measuring Environmental Impact and Sustainability,479-496. doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-799968-5.00014-2
Kilara,A. (2015). Whey and Whey Products. DairyProcessing and Quality Assurance,349-366. doi:10.1002/9781118810279.ch15
Kosseva,M. R., & Webb, C. (2013). Foodindustry wastes: assessment and recuperation of commodities.London: Elsevier/Academic Press.
Kreiser,L. (2013). Environmentaltaxation and climate change: achieving environmental sustainabilitythrough fiscal policy.Cheltenham, UK.: Edward Elgar.