Industry is responsible for 25% of the UK’s total CO2 emissions. Energy use in industry can be broadly divided into heat from direct combustion and electricity.
There are three main areas where opportunities exist to reduce carbon emissions in industry:
- Using particular raw materials more than others
- Altering the product mix
- Reducing energy in the supply chain
- Intelligent scheduling to reduce standby time and changeovers
- Novel process configuration
- Upgrades to higher efficiency models
- Novel approaches.
Many of the high-energy-use items of equipment are used across a range of industries. For example, motors and drives, refrigerators, lighting and air compressors. Similarly, some opportunities to save energy with process improvements can be applied across a wide range of different industries, in particular heat recovery and process control improvements.
Many industries use the majority of their energy directly to manufacture a product, as opposed to peripheral services such as heating and lighting. Consequently it can be difficult to identify opportunities except through an in-depth understanding of energy flows in the manufacturing process.
The Carbon Trust's Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator has worked with a number of industry sectors to develop this understanding and build the business case for innovation in process control and the uptake of low-carbon technologies.
Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator
The Carbon Trust designed the Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA) to work collaboratively with industry sectors to deliver energy savings in manufacturing processes. Working with key stakeholders in each sector we identify innovations in equipment, processes and product strategy.
Industrial energy efficiency: the issue
Industry produces 125MtCO2 - 25% of UK total emissions. Energy efficiency best practice measures are relatively well understood, and most industries deploy these in non-process related areas, such as space heating and lighting. Many also deploy sound practices in process efficiency e.g. steam distribution and compressed air. However, we found very few have the internal systems to identify and deploy genuine innovations in processes such as heat recovery, combustion efficiency and novel cleaning methods.
Through funding from the Department of Business Innovation and Skills as part of its Regional Growth Fund, we are currently deploying a number of innovative technologies in four sectors: Aggregates, Animal Feeds, Dairy and Bakery.
These include the development of low temperature asphalt, improved combustion efficiency in bakery ovens and a less carbon intensive method of cleaning pipes in the dairy sector by using ice pigs. Several commercial and non-profit partners are co-investing in these projects, including manufacturers, technology suppliers and universities.
As part of these innovation projects, Carbon Trust is responsible for dissemination. This includes events, case studies and related activities. Upcoming activities will be listed below.
Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator approach
The IEEA takes a collaborative approach, working with trade associations, sector companies and technology providers to identify innovative opportunities for energy reduction. We have worked with 14 mid-energy intense sectors, such as dairies and aggregates, installing site metering at equipment level and analysing production data. This has helped us identify emissions reduction averaging 29%.
Examples of innovative opportunities include:
- Design of brick kilns with reduced air flow rates to improve efficiency
- saves a typical site £90k/year
- potential to reduce emissions in the bricks industry by 40,000 tCO2/year
- Moisture measurement of paper to improve control of water extraction
- saves a typical plant £260k/year
- opportunity to reduce emissions in the paper industry by 65,600 tCO2/year
- Use of ice pigs to clean pipes in the dairy (or brewing sector) instead of hot water and detergents
- enables recovery of product (milk, cream, etc.) by the ice slurry instead of losing to drain
- dairy sector emissions reductions could add up to 23,000tCO2/year
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