A Methodology for Identifying Transformation Pathways for Industrial Process Clusters: Toward Increased Energy Efficiency and Renewable Feedstock
The European process industry is facing major challenges. Modern, large-scale production facilities in other parts of the world are often more efficient. Furthermore, limited access to inexpensive shale gas from North America has led to an additional disadvantage for the European industry. At the same time, the European Union (EU) has implemented policy instruments aiming at increasing the costs for emitting Greenhouse Gases (GHG) in order to curb global warming.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the only measure that decreases GHG emissions and at the same time achieves economic, environmental and societal goals is increasing energy efficiency. Clusters of industrial production plants often offer considerable opportunities to increase efficiency at the total site level. Another option for the process industry is to tap into new markets in order to stay competitive. The interest for biomass based products has increased lately due to societal expectations for sustainable development and renewable feedstock based products.
This work presents a framework methodology that can provide guidance to the process industry in order to manage this transformation in an efficient way. Process integration tools are used to identify common measures to improve energy efficiency at a site-wide scale. This targeting procedure is followed by a detailed procedure for design and evaluation of practical energy efficiency measures. This step should be performed in close collaboration with experts from the industrial cluster in order to present solutions that can overcome some of the main barriers for the implementation of common energy efficiency measures. The knowledge obtained during this targeting and design process can also be used to identify favourable ways to integrate biomass based processes that can replace fossil with biogenic feedstocks and utilise existing infrastructure. In most chemical processes, there is usually excess process heat that cannot be utilised internally. In the last stage of the framework methodology developed in this work, the opportunity to export industrial excess heat should be investigated. This includes an assessment of the quantity of available heat, the economic feasibility and the competition between internal integration and the export of heat.
The framework methodology is demonstrated via a case study of a chemical cluster in Sweden.
total site analysis