Jose A. Moya
Jose A. Moya graduated in mining engineering from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. He worked as a researcher for 6 years in probabilistic safety assessments of nuclear repositories and for 10 years in INDRA, a Spanish consultancy firm in which he provided significant support to an electricity distribution company on regulatory issues. In 2009 he joined the Joint Research Centre, where he has worked assessing the role of technology innovation in energy-intensive industries to improve energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions.
Carmen Moles is a chemical engineer with a PhD in Optimisation Techniques from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). After holding a postdoctoral position at R&D Unilever, she worked at ABB AS and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Since she joined the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in 2013, Carmen has been involved in heating and cooling technology and low-carbon solutions for energy-intensive industry.
Ronald Piers de Raveschoot
Ronald is a mechanical engineer with an MSc in Environmental Management (Imperial College). After working in energy-related industries for seven years he moved to the public sector, first in the Brussels Capital Region administration for environment and energy, where he headed the energy sub-division, and then in Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC). At the JRC, he has been in charge of providing scientific support to the Covenant of Mayors initiative and to the Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) pilot programme. Since 2014 he has also been involved in projects and studies related to efficient heating and cooling.
In a context of strong global competition and ambitious EU energy and climate policies, Sustainable Industry Low Carbon (SILC) is a EU grant scheme that aims at identifying, developing and deploying technological innovation measures allowing to improve the competitiveness and reduce the carbon intensity of energy-intensive industries. SILC is being implemented in two phases, each with its specific objectives: SILC I (2011-2013) and SILC II (2014 onwards).
SILC II is a Horizon 2020 initiative that funds large-scale demonstrators for low-carbon technologies that require demonstration and validation before implementation. It looks at breakthrough solutions that can bring significant greenhouse gas emission reduction (35% compared to current 'best available techniques') and that have a high potential technology transfer within and across sectors1.
The SILC I programme instead focused on measures that can be implemented in the shorter term (3-year horizon) without prior demonstration/validation. Through three rounds of calls for proposals in 2011-2013, eight projects have been selected for funding, covering the following sectors: iron and steel, ferroalloys, cement, glass, ceramics, and pulp and paper. To date, five of the projects have been finalised. Most of the solutions are designed to be integrated into existing production lines, which might increase their potential for implementation in the specific industrial sector as well as other energy-intensive industries. Out of these eight projects, five are centred on waste heat recovery while the others focus on energy efficiency measures. The five projects focusing on waste heat recovery are described below:
A) Ceramics industry: Reduction of CO2 emissions in the ceramic manufacturing process (REDUCER) (complete)
The objective of this project is to identify and implement energy savings in elements of the ceramic tile manufacturing process characterised by high thermal energy consumption such as kiln and dry units. Thermal energy in the target industrial facility is obtained through combustion of natural gas. As much as 50% of energy wasted in the kiln through hot flue gases has been reported. First, energy-related process variables were optimised using a process simulation approach. Afterwards, a new energy recovery system was designed and installed, by which the hot gasses from the kiln cooling stack are recovered into vertical dryers. The reported savings amount to 2.16 kWh and 0.44 kg CO2 per m² of material produced, which represents about 10% of the energy and CO2 emissions associated with the process. This could potentially save, if expanded to the whole EU-27, 520 000 tons of CO2 per year.
B) Ferro-Alloy industry: Emission Reduction in Manufacturing and Process industries (ER>ER) (complete)
This project consisted of the development and dissemination of a Waste Heat Recovery Best Practice Framework and the implementation of an open online community platform to reach and engage with interested stakeholders, based on the experience gained by the industrial partner, which in 2012 and independently of the SILC scheme, started to operate a waste heat recovery system to produce electricity (340 GWh per year) using the off-gases (at 800 °C) of the electric furnace. The electricity generated is consumed on-site and covers 35% of the plant's electricity needs. A boiler able to produce up to 125 GWh per year of process heat was also installed.
The project made it possible to develop the HeatREcovery+ mobile app in which the user can make simple choices regarding waste heat recovery technology and local conditions of a hypothetical industrial plant and, as a result, the app returns the energy recovery system with the highest potential. The project identified economic risk and financial regulations as the most decisive aspects in the feasibility of a particular heat recovery system.
C) Glass industry 1: Fume Heat Recovery System (FHRS) (ongoing)
The FHRS project aims at energy recovery in the melting processes in the glass industry. The system comprises a two-step waste fume energy recovery system to preheat both the oxidizer and the combustible supplying an oxy-combustion furnace. A CO2 saving of about 9% is expected, to be confirmed after system optimisation. A cost benefit analysis including the impact on industrial competitiveness will be carried out. Furthermore, the final results will also include an evaluation of the potential implementation of the new technology in similar industrial sectors such as the production of steel and cement.
D) Steel sector - Waste heat valorisation for sustainable energy intensive industries (WHAVES) (ongoing)
This project builds on results obtained in two previous LIFE+ projects2 in which a solution based on electric arc furnaces (EAF) and Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) was implemented in a steel demo plant. The project explores methods to replicate the solution in other steelworks and energy intensive industries such as cement, glass, non-ferrous metals and oil & gas. Data from an existing EAF coupled to an ORC unit combined with other waste heat recovery, along with data from a cement plant and a glass plant are collected and analysed. It has been possible to define a standardised solution for an ORC-based heat valorisation system integrated in the water-cooled piping component of the cooling fume treatment system in the iron and steel industry. The project claims that one of the advantages of using ORC is that its design allows it to operate efficiently under the variable operating conditions typical of the iron and steel melting process (variation in exhaust gas temperature and flow). A 4.6% increase in energy efficiency has been observed, which could potentially lead to savings of 2.2 million tonnes CO2 per year at European level for the whole sector. In a similar manner it is estimated that 1.9 million tonnes CO2 could be saved in the cement industry, and 225 000 tonnes in the glass sector.
E) Glass industry 2: CO2 reduction in the ETS glass industry (CO2-Glass) - ongoing
The project started by evaluating the potential use of waste heat in a glass container production plant in Sofia. In particular, a heat exchanger for enhanced batch preheating will be designed and installed. This technology is applicable to fuel/air fired oxy-fuel furnaces and batches with cullet content of over 50%. It can be applied at existing glass production chains without the need for major modifications to the process. The project will also evaluate the potential implementation of the proposed technology in four additional glass facilities. A batch pre-heating process simulation tool was developed and an energy-mass balance analysis was carried out. Several concepts for the glass industry, dealing with fuel reduction, electric boosting reduction and increased pull were examined. The results showed that energy consumption under full load operation could be reduced between 12.3% and 16.2% and CO2 emissions by between 3.4% and 10.7%. It is expected that the project results could be potentially reproduced in small, medium or large glass industrial sites.
Industry accounts for 25% of the EU’s entire final energy consumption, 73% of which is provided in the form of heating and cooling3.
Primary sources of waste heat in industry can be single process units or whole systems that release heat into the environment. In terms of sectors, the largest amounts are usually found in basic metals, chemical industry, non-metallic minerals, pulp and paper and food.
Although considerable effort has been made to optimise industrial processes, there is still a large amount of recoverable heat that is wasted, either in individual facilities or industrial hubs. Five out of the eight SILC I projects are exploring technical solutions that can be used to recover this heat. Based on the partial results obtained to date, the considered solutions could deliver between 4% and 16% energy savings and up to 10% CO2 savings, depending on the sector and the production process.
3Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, An EU Strategy on Heating and Cooling, Brussels, 16.2.2016 COM(2016) 51 final.