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2021-12-17

Baking Heat from Biomass

In the largest bakery and confectionery in Schafisheim, near Zurich in Switzerland, grain residues from production and wood residues from local forestry are used to generate energy. The plant, which has an adjacent cold storage facility, has already been powered by 70% biomass since 2015.

With the help of thermal oil, i.e. oil used for heat dissipation, the heat generated during the combustion of the biomass is extracted. As a result, bread, cakes, pies, roulades and frozen doughs are made here from biomass energy, and ultimately distributed to Coop Group supermarkets throughout Switzerland. The Schafisheim plant produces a total of 60,000 tons of baked goods annually.
In Switzerland, Coop is known as the supermarket "around the corner." With about 91,000 employees, the Coop Group is one of the largest wholesale companies in Switzerland.

The raw materials for the production of the goods are processed at the nearby "Swissmill" in Zurich. The bakery is powered by a new type of biomass combustion plant whose fuel is made up of 50% wood pellets and 50% mill by-products. The heat generated from this can eventually be used to produce valuable thermal oil, which is used to power the plant.
Biomass is considered to be an energy material with particularly high thermodynamics and can generate temperatures of 100°C or even 200°C. This allows Coop to reduce its carbon footprint. In this way, Coop can save the emission of around 10,000 CO2 per year.

The Swiss Confederation has been supporting the use of renewable energies since 1990. As a result, the integration of automated biomass combustion plants and district heating have long since become commonplace in modern construction. The use of automated biomass combustion plants in conjunction with district heating are strongly promoted by the Swiss Confederation and the cantons.

Switzerland ranked first in the Global Innovation Index 2021 for the tenth time in a row: it is considered to be the country with the highest innovation power worldwide.
The Global Innovation Index, which was developed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in collaboration with various corporate partners and a globally active academic network, measures the innovative strength of countries on the basis of 81 factors with which statements can be made about digitization, investments in science and innovation, and infrastructure.