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John O | October 2018

Researcher describes project for recovering waste heat in energy-intensive industrial processes

By Josh Perry, Editor


A recent interview with Bakartxo Egilegor, a senior researcher at the non-profit Spanish research institute IK4-IKERLAN and coordinator of the European thermal energy recovery project ETEKINA, details the methods that are being explored for reusing waste heat from energy-intensive industrial processes, such as aluminum processing.


The project seeks to reuse thermal energy in industrial processes. (ETEKINA/YouTube)


The interview was conducted by the European Science Communication Institute (ESCI) and released by Phys.org.


ETEKINA researchers are using heat pipe-based heat exchangers to collect and reuse thermal energy and real-world experiments are being arranged to test the technology, according to Egilegor.


She explained, “Well, this technology is nowadays massively used for cooling electronic devices, but for industrial heat recovery the cost has been the main barrier. The first prototype for industrial heat recovery was built in 2001 and over the last 10 years heat pipes have become much cheaper and their designs have been improved. That is why the technology is now becoming attractive for energy-intensive industries.”


Researchers believe that they can recover as much as 42 percent of the energy in the test furnace. This would eliminate the energy consumption from the second furnace. The next step is to test this in a working plant to gauge its viability for the industry.


Egilegor said, “These industries do want to reduce their high energy consumption. But to invest in new energy-saving technologies, they need to see concrete examples, success stories. ETEKINA will provide them with three success stories: in the non-ferrous metal sector, represented by Fagor Ederlan, in the ceramic sector, represented by Atlas Concorde in Italy and in the steel sector, represented by Metal Ravne in Slovenia.”


Read the full interview at https://phys.org/news/2018-09-discusses-energy-aluminum.html. Learn more about the ETEKINA project at https://www.etekina.eu and in the video below:

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