Systematic Approach for Energy Efficient Eco-Industrial Parks | AIChE

Systematic Approach for Energy Efficient Eco-Industrial Parks


Conference Presentation

Conference Type

AIChE Annual Meeting

Presentation Date

November 4, 2013


30 minutes

Skill Level




Sustainability since its original conceptualization is considered to have four dimensions; social; economic; environmental and institutional. It is simply the improved management of natural resources within a business establishment to provide economic and social benefits to the business and its surroundings. Eco-industrial parks (EIP) can serve a significant role in realizing economic , environmental and social benefits both to individual plants and to network of companies. Even though EIP are often publicized as a mean of reducing environmental damage through reduced waste , they can have number of benefits at different levels. Currently the major driving factor for the creation of most of it is to attain financial gain.  Industrial ecology concept may promote a new path of local development through the transition from industrial clusters to EIPs via exploiting common features of both models. Implementing Eco-Industrial Parks’ (EIPs) principles in an existing industrial cluster or in the planning of new ones , represents a significant opportunity for its revitalization. IEP could exploit synergies from industrial clusters and non-industrial activities to easily create new production models in which the economic and environmental dimensions are symbiotic. The well planning of new EIP or transformation of conventional industrial complexes to a one can brings significant value to energy efficiency and energy-based GHG emissions reduction.  This task is a huge multi-variable multi-dimensional optimization problem in which the total eco-industrial park network depends on as small as stream condition and as big as the whole park functionality. The customized integration among many industrial plants and non-industrial ones in adjacent geographical locations can bring in more degrees of freedom to the “waste energy recovery” optimization problem and consequently presents new horizon to the radical energy-based GHG emissions reduction to levels never thought of before. Fortunately , many of the reasons which were hindering the application of inter-systems integration are nowadays addressed in cost-effective ways. However , to date EIPs key success has been a sequence of independent economically driven actions. Such evolutionary pattern may not be easily transferred to others. A holistic approach in addressing the problem using systematic techniques in the implementing of necessary modifications in either the brownfields or in the planning of Greenfields can bring huge value to energy resources conservation and GHG emissions reduction and is desperately needed today. It is very difficult with the current methods and tools to magically manufacture EIPs to work from scratch. First , there should be the basic ingredients in place , namely the desire of plants to actively participate and second the correct EIP membership and structure of firms. These basic ingredients can then be enhanced and improved upon , with correct support structure in place. The key to developing a successful EIP is to determine the best connections among different industrial plants and its surrounding communities in an EIP. Specifically it is the material and energy flows relationship among the different members in the alliance of plants which permit establishing optimal linkage to form a fruitful inter-dynamic structure. If such structure does not exist a successful EIP cannot be realized. This paper addresses the energy efficiency of EIP via new systematic approach. It is different in concept than the current approach in which only the “transfer of waste heat” from one firm to a nearby one is conducted after exhausting all the possibilities to optimize the stand-alone plant in the firm. The total site targeting based on the pinch technology , which is the most widely used to date , starts with intra-systems integration which means again that only the waste heat of one member in the EIP is shared with other parks’ members. Certainly , such level of sharing philosophy is not the ideal proactive form of true cooperation. This paper introduces new method that achieves ambitious levels of energy efficiency and GHG emissions reduction via identifying best matchings’ among EIP members; generating technically viable energy efficient alternatives; and defining the best generation and allocation of energy utilities systems. It also presents two new mathematical programming and constraints logic propagation tools to systematically find the best and the second best and so on matchings’ among several plants for optimal eco-industrial park membership forms under all possible combinations of plants-specific design and operations modifications. The paper also introduces new graphical tool that enables the EIP designer to gain insights and create initial solutions for optimal energy loads for exchange among the members to best enhance the energy efficiency and GHG emissions of the whole park (”One for all and all for one philosophy”). The advantages of the new method and tools are illustrated and demonstrated by two case studies.


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