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Heat Recovery & Valorisation

Excess heat from certain processes can be a valuable resource for other processes within the industry and even for other industries or users, directly or after some transformation steps. In general industries have implemented solutions as long as these were cost-effective. However, heat recovery potential is still untapped due to a number of technical and non-technical barriers. Among them, the need to make the recovery cost-effective and the real possibility of reusing it by upgrading temperatures or transforming the heat. Capturing low-grade heat for reuse elsewhere is usually not practical or economically viable.

CORDIS. Results Pack on waste heat valorisation: https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/688097a1-8aee-11ec-8c40-01aa75ed71a1

Current innovative solutions are demonstrating that heat recovery can overcome these barriers. To name the ones selected by EU-funded research results:

  • Heat exchange technology for commercial heat-to-power ORC systems for the cement, glass, steelmaking and petrochemical industries (TASIO project). This solution eliminates the intermediate heat transfer fluid of conventional ORC solutions.
  • Highly efficient heat exchangers for thermal energy storage and reuse or commercialisation of waste heat (SUSPIRE project)
  • Thermal energy storage technology based on phase change materials that can recover and store high-temperature heat, applied to furnaces (VULKANO project)
  • Innovative plug-and-play heat recovery and conversion to power solutions with potential across a wide temperature spectrum, including novel supercritical CO2 cycle (i-ThERM project)
  • Absorption Heat Transformer that recovers low temperature heat and revalues it at competitive costs (Indus3Es Project)
  • Innovative heat pump technology that captures and upgrades heat energy from sewage system (LOWUP project)
  • Heat pipes exchangers to recapture energy lost from kilns and transfer to other processes (DREAM project) or heat pipe heat exchanger for recovery of heat from exhaust streams (ETEKINA project)
  • Industrial heat pumps that recover and reuse waste heat in industrial drying processes (DryFiciency project)
  • ReUseHeat EU project, waste heat is revalorised with a heat pump and injected into district heating networks. The source of waste heat comes from data centres (from the heat released to cool down the servers), hospital (from the cooling of surgery room and the areas with special air requirements), or metro (recovering heat from the tunnels). From the project, the main barrier encountered was that regulation and financial support is mostly missing in EU and therefore, it does not boost the promotion of waste heat investment. Plus, a contractual agreement is needed between the waste heat supplier and the district heating operator, which is not standardized and it needs one-to-one cooperation, which can hander the process. 

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