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(24b) Energy-Water Nexus in Eco-Industrial Park

Das, T., Saint Martin's University
Present day energy and water systems are tightly intertwined. Water is used in all phases of energy production and electricity generation. Energy is required to extract, convey, and deliver water of appropriate quality for diverse human uses, and then again to treat waste waters prior to their return to the environment. Historically, interactions between energy and water have been considered on a regional or technology-by-technology basis. At the national and international levels, energy-water systems have been developed, managed, and regulated independently. Water and energy are critical, mutually dependent resources—the production of energy requires large volumes of water and water infrastructure requires large amounts of energy.

An Eco-industrial park (EIP) is a community of manufacturing and service businesses seeking enhanced environmental and economic performance through collaboration in managing environmental and resource issues including energy, water, and materials. By working together, the community of businesses seeks a collective benefit that is greater than the sum of the individual benefits each company would realize if it optimized its individual performance only. The goal of an EIP is to improve economic performance of the participating companies while minimizing their environmental impact (Das, 2005; Das and Cabezas, 2018; EPRI, 2011; Lowe, 2001).

A case study pertinent to energy-water-food nexus in the agro industrial eco-complex is illustrated. This is particularly important to the theme of process integration and intensification because it also involves the production of a good (paper), the sustainable generation of energy (from bagasse – e.g., waste-to-energy), a human food (sugar), and sustainable use of water.

Das, T. K. (2005). Toward Zero Discharge: Innovative Methodology and Technologies for Process Pollution Prevention, Wiley-InterScience, Hoboken, NJ.

Das, T. K. and Cabezas, H. (2018). “Tools and Concepts for Environmental Sustainability in the Food-Energy-Water Nexus: Chemical Engineering Perspective,” Environmental Progress and Sustainable Energy, 37(1), 73-81.

EPRI, Electric Power Research Institute (2011). “Water Use for Electricity Generation and Other Sectors: Recent Changes (1985-2005) and Future Projections (2005-2030)”. Palo Alto, CA: EPRI.

Lowe, E. A. (2001). “Eco-industrial Park Handbook for Asian Developing Countries. A Report to Asian Development Bank,” Environment Department, Indigo Development, Oakland, CA.