A Holistic Methodology for Optimizing Industrial Resource Efficiency

Efficient consumption of energy and material resources, including water, is the primary focus for process industries to reduce their environmental impact. The Conference of Parties in Paris (COP21) highlighted the prominent role of industrial energy efficiency in combating climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Consumption of energy and material resources, especially water, are strongly interconnected and, therefore, must be treated simultaneously using a holistic approach to identify optimal solutions for efficient processing. Such approaches must consider energy and water recovery within a comprehensive process integration framework which includes options such as organic Rankine cycles for electricity generation from low–medium-temperature heat. This work addresses the importance of holistic approaches by proposing a methodology for simultaneous consideration of heat, mass, and power in industrial processes. The methodology is applied to a kraft pulp mill. In doing so, freshwater consumption is reduced by more than 60%, while net power output is increased by a factor of up to six (from 3.2 MW to between 10–26 MW). The results show that interactions among these elements are complex and therefore underline the necessity of such comprehensive methods to explore their optimal integration with industrial processes. The potential applications of this work are vast, extending from total site resource integration to addressing synergies in the context of industrial symbiosis.

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Energies, 12, 7, 1315
Apr 05 2019
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 Record created 2019-04-08, last modified 2019-05-29

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