(52d) Energy Efficiency - Future Directions | AIChE

(52d) Energy Efficiency - Future Directions


Smith, R. - Presenter, Centre for Process Integration

Increasing energy prices and pressures to decrease the emissions of greenhouse gases demand significant improvements in process efficiency, both for existing and new processes.

The utility systems of most sites have evolved over many years without fundamental questions being addressed as to their design and operation with much redundancy in place. This redundancy allows the site to respond to changes in the operation across the site, for maintenance of equipment and for breakdown. However, this redundancy also presents opportunities to improve performance by managing its operation more effectively. Thus, utility systems offer the opportunity of substantial savings given their large investment requirements and operating costs.

Investigating improvements in energy integration of individual processes should begin by understanding the utility system that services the process. Only in this way can the true incentives to improve the energy performance of individual processes be established. Thermodynamic techniques for heat exchanger network design and retrofit were developed in the 1980's. These have proved to be extremely successful industrially. However, these methods also have significant drawbacks, which is particularly true when improving the performance of existing processes in retrofit. This problem was difficult to address using the thermodynamic methods developed in the 1980's, since when they were applied to retrofit they effectively considered the problem as a pseudo new design. To be effective, whatever approach is used, should not attempt to move the design of an existing process towards an ideal new design, but to take account of what is existing.

This workshop will review state-of-the art technologies to improve energy efficiency in chemical processes.