Conventional smoking no longer meets the requirements of the European Union (EU). According to EU Directive 96/91/EC (pollution prevention and control), manufacturing companies are obliged to use processing technologies that offer the best possible protection of the environment (air, water, soil).
Environmental influences and potential savings for Germany
The environmental influences were divided into the following four categories when comparing the conventional smoking methods glow smoking and friction smoking with CleanSmoke:
Conventional smoking (friction or smouldering) requires around 3.75kg of wood per ton of smoked meat. The primary smoke product for CleanSmoke, on the other hand, can be made with only 1.9kg of sawdust, a by-product of saw mills and the wood-working industry. The indirect usage of minerals for machines and equipment adds up to 1.38kg of Fe equivalents3 for CleanSmoke technology. In contrast, conventional smoking procedures use nearly 2.5kg iron equivalents per ton of smoked meat.
The use of wood and minerals for conventional smoking would be almost twice as high compared to CleanSmoke. The consumption of 3.4 million tons of sawdust to produce primary smoke condensate faces 6.8 million tons of wood for smouldering and friction smoking. The mineral consumption, mostly for producing energy, amounts to 2.5 million tons of iron equivalents for CleanSmoke, of which 15 per cent are used for the production of primary materials, and 85 per cent for smokehouses. Conventional smoking would use 4.5 million tons of iron equivalents, with 40 per cent for the supply of raw materials, and 60 per cent for smokehouses.
Energy and carbon dioxide (CO2)
Along the entire value-added chain, a ton of meat smoked with CleanSmoke requires about 700 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy, with over 90 percent used in smokehouses. The environmental footprint comes up to 120kg CO2 equivalents4 per ton of smoked food. In comparison, conventional smoking methods use 1,050 kWh of energy, with less than 90 per cent used in smokehouses. This comes up to about 166 kg of CO2 equivalents.
When used consistently, the possible energy savings for use of CleanSmoke could be around 600 million kWh. This would be enough energy to cook food in a microwave for about nine million people. These savings would also benefit the environment, avoiding around 72,000 tons of CO2 equivalents. This is roughly the same amount of CO2 emitted when producing 14,000 cars – or of 100 people flying around the world 72 times on a plane.
For cleaning, smokehouses that apply CleanSmoke use about 37 litres of water per ton of smoked food. The indirect water usage for plant growth and lumbering is about 7 litres per ton. Conventional smoking has a higher water consumption. In conventional smokehouses, more than 301 litres of water are used for cleaning one ton of smoked food, and 37.9 litres for growth and harvesting.
Another argument for CleanSmoke compared to conventional smoking is the direct and indirect water consumption. Cleaning the smokehouses would generate savings of 479.000 m3. That is how much residents of large towns such as Gelsenkirchen or Kiel drink per year. Added to this would be 350.000 m3 of water that could be saved along the supply chain. This would be enough to produce sufficient cotton to make jeans and t-shirts for 35,000 people.
Energy and carbon dioxide (CO2)
Application of detergents in CleanSmoke smokehouses is significantly lower than for conventional smoking. The production of primary smoking products requires around 0.37 litres, and on the smoking site around 0.34 litres of cleaning product per ton of smoked meat. Conventional smoking, on the other side, uses an average of 1.79 litres per ton of smoked foods.
The utilization of cleaning materials when using CleanSmoke would be distributed evenly between the production of primary smoke condensate and the smokehouses. The overall consumption would be approximately 600 tons. Conventional smoking, however, requires 3,200 tons of detergents for cleaning the smoking facilities. The amount of chemicals that are dangerous for humans, mainly from the use of energy, is about the same for both smoking methods. It would amount to 2,080 tons of 1.4 DCB equivalents6 for CleanSmoke, and 2,120 tons for conventional smoking.