Resources, Conservation and Recycling, Volume 137, October 2018,
Activities in the food-energy-water nexus require ecosystem services to maintain productivity and prevent ecological degradation. This work applies techno-ecological synergy concepts in an optimization formulation to design a system for co-producing food and energy under constraints on ecological sustainability. The system includes land use activities and biomass conversion processes for the production of energy carriers, as well as supporting ecosystems that increase the supply of key ecosystem services. The co-production system was linearized and reduced to a mixed-integer linear program, which was optimized for single objectives under a variety of production and sustainability constraints. Results indicate that for the system considered to achieve high food and energy co-production, land use options should be balanced between food-producing crops and electricity-producing wind turbines and solar panels. Results also show that ecological sustainability can be achieved for this system with relatively small changes in land use patterns. The inclusion of nature in the design enables the system as a whole to achieve ecological sustainability for multiple ecosystem services with moderate sacrifices of food and energy productivity.
Article; Bioconversion; Biomass; Biomass Conversion Process; Ecological Degradations; Ecological Sustainability; Economics; Ecosystem; Ecosystem Service; Ecosystem Services; Ecosystems; Energy Productivity; Energy Resource; Energy Yield; Environmental Management; Environmental Monitoring; Environmental Parameters; Environmental Planning; Environmental Sustainability; Food Energy Water Nexus; Food Industry; Food-Energy-Water Nexus; Integer Programming; Land Use; Mathematical Analysis; Mathematical Model; Mixed Integer Linear Program; Optimization; Optimization Formulations; Process-to-planet; Productivity; Reforestation; Sustainability; Sustainable Development; Techno-ecological Synergy; Wetland; Wind Turbines; North America