Process Optimisation | Energy Efficiency

The annual energy consumption of the Dutch chemical industry is about 500 PJ. Potentially, there is an enormous opportunity to save energy here. This may be from an ideological point of view (climate objectives) or from a business perspective (CO2 tax). In any case, climate change is crying out for a drastic reduction in the use of fossil energy. You can also approach energy saving in a different way, namely by talking about the ambition to increase energy productivity:

Doubling energy productivity(1) to just 3% would reduce the global fossil fuel bill by more than €2 trillion (=2000 billion) by 2030 and create more than 6 million jobs over the next 5 years(2). The ultimate goal is to reach the CO2 targets in 2030 and 2050.

If you have a connection to the electricity grid (this applies just as much to gas, water or other utilities), then the amount of electricity coming into the plant is also measured. Based on this measurement, the electricity supplier is charged.

What is less common, however, is that the consumption of electricity is made transparent to the individual users. Energy consumption can be estimated on the basis of process parameters, but is rarely measured directly.

That is why the first step in saving energy is to make clear where your invisible energy is going. So that you can then optimise that energy consumption in a targeted way. The same applies to process optimisation: make visible where yield losses occur.

Experience shows that in existing processes, without major investments, at least some 5-10% energy can be saved or process improvements can be identified.

We have structured our optimisation method in a 5-step plan.

Want to get an idea of how this works? Then download the e-book: in 5 steps to the optimal process

Some random examples to reinforce this message:

  • Optimisation of the washflow to an aldehyde extraction column
    By challenging the original design and establishing a thorough measurement protocol, 15 ton/hr of steam could be saved in the downstream distillation section. This led to a net saving of € 1,200,000/year
  • Optimisation of the energy consumption of air compressors on a pipeline
    By providing insight into the actual energy and control performance, it could be shown that at some points operations were far from the ideal situation. This led to a net saving of € 100,000 per year.
  • Optimisation of a slag drying process
    Realised energy saving of 70% on natural gas consumption in 7 years. A saving of 2,750,000 m3 natural gas / year. This corresponds to more than 5,000,000 kg ofCO2 emissions.

Even greater productivity increases can be achieved with Technology Transferwhere radical changes in the process such as process intensification are applied. We believe that this paradigm shift is necessary in the energy transition, but becomes more realistic if you first save energy or optimise the process.

Read here what distinguishes us from standard consultants

1) That means producing twice as much with the same amount of energy, or producing the same amount with half the amount of energy.

2) source: The-2015-Energy-Productivity-and-Economic-Prosperity-Index, Kornelis Blok, Paul Hofheinz and John Kerkhoven


Want to know more about process optimization and what pro6com can do for your plant in this regard?

"Holding on to a railing has never prevented an explosion"

- – Enrico Lammers