Conference Dates

June 5-10, 2016


Vietnam is a developing country with approximately 70 % of inhabitants dependent on agricultural practice for a living. Agro-food processing craft villages, a typical feature of rural areas, appeared before 1930 as the result of the secondary activities of farmers. Over time, they have developed rapidly, and represent a huge but unstable production sector carried out by village residents. Among 5400 craft villages they account the second largest share. Agro-food processing craft villages concentrate predominantly in the region of Red River Delta of Vietnam and currently are loosely regulated. However, fast increase in quantity and the inappropriate management of solid waste, water and wastewater in these villages are triggering alarming environmental degradation and resource depletion.

The presented project aims to develop a database of Material Flow Analysis (MFA) for the agro-food processing craft villages in the Red River Delta of Vietnam based on results of a previous Vietnamese - German joint project - INHAND “Integrated water concept for craft villages in Vietnam” (2011 – 2016) funded by German Ministry of Education and Research. Furthermore, this research investigates the most typical production processes of agro-food products at craft villages in Red River Delta by

  • measuring and monitoring the production procedures,
  • determination of the specific material and energy flows,
  • analyzing the resource consumption and economic effects
  • sampling and analysis in laboratory of the waste and wastewater
  • as well as through surveying.

The targeted productions are liquor, rice noodle, spring-roll rice paper, fresh rice vermicelli, glass noodle, arrowroot and cassava starch, and tofu. The material flow accounting of Total Carbon (TC), Total Nitrogen (TN), Total Phosphorus (TP), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) and energy for each type of production is determined or calculated and then extrapolated for the entire Red River Delta region.

This MFA database describes the balance of TC, TN, TP, COD, energy and characteristics for example production customs and technologies for each type of production chain and for the whole region of Red River Delta. From this, a comprehensive account of resource and energy use of the household food production sector is created. This can be used as a reference for the development and application of more sustainable production at household level and provide solutions or promote decision-making for environmental authorities to optimize resource and energy use as well as environmental management.

Preliminary results show that the region of the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, contains the highest density of agro food production craft villages in the Red River Delta region. Most of the investigated production processes consume vast volumes of water as well as energy and consequently produce large amounts of wastewater, which is typically discharged untreated to waterbodies or rice fields at concentrations that exceed national limits for pH, TN, TP and COD.

Arrowroot starch and cassava starch are main culprits, producing not only huge amounts of wastewater (up to 50l/kg product and 24l/kg product, respectively) but also significant solid residues which are readily degradable and contain high nutrient levels. Other products mainly use rice as raw material; among these, fresh rice vermicelli and rice noodle produce the most acidic wastewater and high concentrations of COD, TN, TP. However, for some productions like rice liquor and spring-roll rice paper, the arising wastewater is reduced if the wastewater for example from rice washing and soaking process is utilized for animal feeding.

This presentation focus on the completed data collection, process description and mass and energy flow analysis. Next steps will be balancing of TC, TN, TP and COD and modelling with MFA software “STAN”. The mass of TC, TN, TP and COD per unit product or per inhabitant will be calculated and further information on distribution of food villages in Red River Delta will be collected and processed to extrapolate the balance of MFA for the whole Red River Delta region.

Included in

Engineering Commons