Optimising Thermal Energy Recovery, Utilisation and Management in the Process Industries - OPTITHERM

Lead Research Organisation: Brunel University
Department Name: Sch of Engineering and Design

Abstract

In 2006, industrial energy use was 407 TWh and represented 19 % of total energy end use in the UK. Of this, more than 36% was consumed by the food, chemicals, paper and metals industries. Food and drinks processing accounted for 42 TWh, paper 9.4 TWh, chemicals 64 TWh and metals 34 TWh. The UK's Kyoto target is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 12.5% from 1990 levels within the commitment period of 2008-2012. The UK is on course to meet this target but is unlikely to meet the tougher self-imposed target to cut CO2 emissions by 20% from 1990 levels by 2010. This target has now been superseded by new targets in a draft Climate Change Bill (HM Government, 2007). The Bill proposes to impose an interim target of 26-32% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020 alongside the 60% reduction by 2050. The Energy White Paper published in 2007 sets out a framework of measures to address these challenging targets and energy efficiency is one of them.. Energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important in the process industries due to the rapid rises in energy costs in the last few years and the volatility of energy prices. Energy costs may also represent a significant proportion of the overall production costs in various process sectors and energy efficiency can offer one of the best approaches to increasing profitability and reducing environmental impacts. Energy efficiency can be achieved in a number of ways including improving the efficiency of equipment and unit operations, heat recovery and process integration. Over the last 30 years considerable research and development effort has been devoted to these fields. The heat recovery potential from the four main process industries is 2.8 TWh from the food sector, 1.6 TWh from the chemicals sector, 0.7 TWh from the metals sector and 0.34 TWh from the paper and pulp industry sector. By far, the greatest potential is in the food and drinks and chemical processing sectors and this research proposal will concentrate mainly on these two sectors even though most of the results and outcomes will be generic.The project aims to investigate and develop methodologies for the optimum thermal energy recovery from process waste streams in the food and chemicals process industries to improve thermal performance and minimize greenhouse gas emissions from unit and process operations. It will involve a combination of research approaches, that will include: i) a comprehensive literature review on energy recovery technologies particularly those that can be applied to processes that involve organic materials and heat exchanger fouling; ii) development of a database and simplified knowledge based tools to facilitate the selection, by non experts, of the most appropriate technology for a particular application; iii) detailed field monitoring and investigations to obtain comprehensive data sets for process analysis and thermodynamic model validation; iv) thermodynamic model development for detailed system analysis, optimum thermal design, integration and control, and iv) generalization and dissemination of results. If heat recovery is widely employed in the process industries annual savings of 5.4 TWh can be achieved with additional 11 TWh savings being available from the wide application of open and closed cycle heat pumps to upgrade waste heat to more useful temperatures. If it is assumed that the displaced fuel will be gas then the wide application of heat recovery technologies, including heat pumps, has the potential of 3.0 MtCO2 emissions reduction per year and 462 M savings in fuel bills. Successful application of these technologies will also lead to increased employment and export opportunities for the UK manufacturing industry.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description This project has led to the investigation of opportunities for energy demand reduction and in particular the application of heat recovery systems in industrial processes.
The project has led to:
I) development of models for the investigation of potato crisp frying systems
ii) development of control approaches for the optimisation of frying processes.
iii) models and approaches for the evaluation of waste heat to power generation systems.
Exploitation Route Findings published in the literature can be used by industry to:
I) identify opportunities for energy savings in industry
ii) assess the potential for heat recovery
iii) design more efficient heat recovery systems
iv) investigate heat to power generation opportunities
v) model and optimise the control of industrial processes.
vi) tools for the evaluation and selection of heat recovery heat exchangers
Sectors Energy,Environment,Other

 
Description The project investigated methodologies for industrial process optimisation particularly in food manufacturing plant. The findings have been used by potato crisp manufacturers to optimise the controls of frying processes to reduce energy consumption by 10%. The project also provided guidance on the selection and integration of heat to power conversion systems to waste heat recovery systems. It also developed an Expert Systems to be used by industry for the design of efficient heat recovery systems.
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Energy,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Economic

 
Description EPSRC- Optimising Energy Management in Industry - 'OPTEMIN'
Amount £1,620,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P004636/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2016 
End 11/2019
 
Description Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Amount £245,081 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R000298/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Optitherm 
Organisation Newcastle University
Department School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This was a collaborative project between the three universities
Collaborator Contribution Exchange of data and information.
Impact Publications
Start Year 2009
 
Description Optitherm 
Organisation Northumbria University
Department Mechanical Engineering
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This was a collaborative project between the three universities
Collaborator Contribution Exchange of data and information.
Impact Publications
Start Year 2009