Smoking with CleanSmoke protects Groundwater Resources

Making the invisible visible: This was the motto of this year’s World Water Day. The focus is on our groundwater – the invisible treasure. Around three quarters of our drinking water originates from groundwater. This makes it Germany’s most important drinking water resource. This water, which flows deep below us, is increasingly endangered, whether due to climate change, intensive agriculture or industrial processes. According to Unicef, more than 1.4 billion people worldwide live in areas with high or extremely high water scarcity. However, many people are not aware of the elementary importance of this resource, nor of its endangerment. One more reason to bring the value of groundwater back into the social and political consciousness.

CleanSmoke smoking technology can contribute to the sustainable management of water resources and the fight against chemical pollution and water scarcity. “CleanSmoke can significantly reduce water consumption,” says Uwe Vogel, chairman of the CleanSmoke Coalition. About 90 percent water can be saved by using this modern smoking technology, compared to traditional smoking. CleanSmoke is a stable smoke freshly produced from pre-cleaned primary smoke condensate. From an environmental point of view, this way of smoking has been awarded “Best Available Technique” by the European Union.

CleanSmoke uses only about one-seventh the water

The potential of CleanSmoke is made clear by a few facts: According to calculations by the German Institute of Food Technologies (DIL), smokehouses using CleanSmoke consume around 37 liters of water for cleaning per ton of smoked food. Indirect water consumption for tree growth and logging is about another seven liters. In contrast, conventional smoking uses 301 liters of water for cleaning per ton of meat and about 38 liters for growth and harvesting, according to DIL.

If all smokehouses in Germany were to rely on CleanSmoke, water consumption for cleaning the smoking facilities would be around 66,000 cubic meters (m3). In contrast, indirect consumption for plant irrigation is relatively low at 6,800 m3. For conventional smoking, both direct consumption for cleaning and indirect consumption for irrigation are significantly larger at 545,000 and nearly 357,000 m3, respectively.

Thus, 479,000 m3 of water could be saved in cleaning the smoking facilities alone. That’s how much drinking water cities like Kiel or Gelsenkirchen consume in a year. Added to this would be another 350,000 m3 of water within the supply chain. For example, cotton for jeans and T-shirts could be produced by 35,000 people.

More than 2,600 metric tons of cleaning agents and chemicals saved

However, the use of CleanSmoke not only relieves water reserves, but also wastewater. This is because fewer cleaning agents and chemicals are needed, which makes a noticeable contribution to better water quality. Every year, 2,600 tons less cleaning agents and 40 tons less chemicals would have to be treated in Germany alone. This reduces the cost of purification and saves municipalities immense expenses for water treatment.

Studies in Denmark have shown that a smokehouse with about 100 tons of weekly production uses about 15 percent less cleaning agent. The savings are about 1,600€ per month. Another 1,000€ would be added for cleaning work that is not necessary. CleanSmoke thus also contributes to one of the most important of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs), SDG No. 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation. By switching to CleanSmoke, smokehouses could show that they have recognized the true value of even the invisible.

Making the Value of the Invisible visible