Decarbonisation options for the Dutch dairy processing industry

08-07-2020 | Rapport

This report on decarbonisation options for the Dutch dairy processing industry is part of the MIDDEN project (Manufacturing Industry Decarbonisation Data Exchange Network) initiated by PBL and TNO. The project aims to support industry, policymakers, analysts and the energy sector in their common efforts to achieve deep decarbonisation. This report gives and overview of dairy processing in the Netherlands and the possibilities for decarbonisation in this industry.

Dairy processing in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, there are 53 dairy processing facilities, which are supplied with around 14 billion kilograms of milk annually. Products include:

  • Milk powders
  • Whey powders
  • Cheese
  • Butter
  • (Sweetened) condensed milk

For many of these products large amounts of water have to be removed from the feedstock, which requires large amounts of heat. This heat is typically supplied through the combustion of natural gas, either in gas boilers or combined heat and power (CHP) plants.

Decarbonisation options include fuel substitution and process design

For the dairy processing sector, the main categories of decarbonisation options that apply are those related to fuel substitution and process design.

The main options for decarbonisation for the Dutch dairy processing industry are:

  •  Spray-drying with zeolite
  •  Pre-concentration with membranes
  •  Mechanical vapour recompression and heat pumps
  •  Electric, hydrogen and biogas boilers
  •  Geothermal energy
  •  Wastewater treatment