Upcoming Meetings & Conferences

The Netherlands

TNO - Implementation of PI Technologies

15 April - 2011


EUROTHERM Seminar 92

17-21 April - 2011


INFUB, Industrial Furnaces & Boilers

26-29 April - 2011

The United Kingdom

IChemE – European Process Intensification Conf

20-23 June - 2011


MNF2011, 3rd Micro and Nano Flows Conference

22-24 August - 2011

The United Kingdom

UK Heat Transfer Conference

30 August - 1 September - 2011


8th Int. Seminar on Heat Pipes, Heat Pumps etc.

12-15 September - 2011

Optitherm Project Activities At Newcastle University

Project Title: Creation of decision based software for the selection of the best available technology for the recovery of low grade heat in the food and chemical industries.

(This project is part of the larger EPSRC funded OPTITHERM project which is a collaboration between Newcastle, Northumbria and Brunel Universities, and a number of industrial partners – see the list of EPSRC-funded projects elsewhere in this Issue)

Summary of project:

Given the rising costs of energy and the tough industrial targets for CO2 production demanded by the climate change act (2007), energy usage and plant efficiency are becoming increasingly important issues in the process industry.

Recent studies estimate that the food and chemicals industries account for 42TWh and 64TWh of annual energy consumption respectively1. This accounts for around a quarter of the total industrial energy use in the UK which stands at around 407TWh. A significant amount of this energy is lost to the environment via low grade waste energy streams (<250oC); 2.8TWh in the food industry, 1.6TWh in the chemical industry2. Recovery of this energy would help greatly increase plant efficiency which in turn would lower utility usage and inherently reduce the carbon footprint of the plant.

Recovery of low grade heat often requires the use of novel technologies meaning that consultancy costs are high, thus deterring the uptake of such projects. The aim of this project is to produce an expert system for the automatic selection of the best available technology for the recovery of low grade heat from identified heat sources. This would help reduce the consultancy costs of a low grade heat recovery system and therefore increase the appeal of such projects.

The software is to include the latest state of the art technologies for utilisation of waste heat including the latest compact heat exchangers for the matching of heat sources and sinks, organic Rankine cycles for electricity generation from low grade heat sources and absorption refrigeration systems for the production of refrigeration from low grade heat sources.

This is a PhD project based at the School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials at Newcastle University. The project began in October 2010 and will be completed by October 2013.

All industrial input is extremely welcome on this project, in particular any company from the food/drinks and chemical industries interested in low grade heat recovery that would be willing to provide a case study. Also, any data on heat recovery technologies from basic heat exchangers to novel technologies would be much appreciated.

Anyone interested in the project or willing to provide any of the above data should contact Richard Law by email at richard.law1@ncl.ac.uk

1 Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, BERR (2006), Manufacturing industries’ energy consumption by end use [Online], Available at http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/energy/statistics/publications/index.html [Accessed Nov 2010]
2 Reay, D.A. and Morrell, M. Overview of Process Heat Recovery (2007), Carbon Trust.

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