Industrial Symbiosis at Kalundborg

May 21, 2018

Dear Reader, welcome to my blog!

I want to share some interesting information about a topic that I am highly interested in; Kalundborg Industrial Symbiosis.

Closed loop industrial systems is a topic that Industrial Ecology tackles. It ultimately aims to shift open loop industrial systems of today where resources come into the system and waste goes out to the nature closed loop systems. Similarly, a closed loop industrial system is an industrial system where byproducts and wastes of one system become the input of other systems. Nature is the best example of a closed loop system where the waste of one organism is the food of another, so there is zero waste overall. Since resources are becoming more scarce and waste is becoming a bigger problem every day, closed loop industrial systems are receiving increased attention lately.

To achieve a closed loop multiple industrial facilities or companies share by products. By collaborating, companies can minimize their waste and increase their resource efficiency and potentially reduce cost. The best example of industrial symbiosis is Kalundborg Eco-Industrial Park located Kalundborg, Denmark.  This Eco-industrial park involves by product exchanges between 9 companies some of which are Denmark’s biggest enterprises. Energy, water and materials exchanges occur between the companies including steam residuals, waste gas, fly ash, gypsum, sulfur, sludge, cooling water and treated waste water.

Here is a short video that explains the Kalundborg Symbiosis:


As a result huge resource and cost savings have been achieved. According to the Wikipedia article on Kalundborg symbiosis “Data from around 2004 show annual savings of 2.9 million cubic meters of ground water, and 1 million cubic meters of surface water. Gypsum savings are estimated around 170,000 tons, and sulfur dioxide waste avoidance is estimated around 53 Tn. These numbers are mostly estimations. Aspects of the Eco-industrial park have changed, and there are many levels to consider when doing these calculations. All together though, these interchanges have shown annual savings of up to $15 million (US), with investments around $78.5 million (US). The total accumulated savings is estimated around $310 million (US)”.


Thank you for reading my blog! See you in the upcoming post.


Published on May 21st, 2018

Last updated on April 1st, 2021