Scientists are studying ways to use the potential of waste heat in order to reduce carbon emissions. Via Phys.org.
Industrial processes that require high temperatures often expel any surplus heat into the environment. While industries are fairly good at using as much of this surplus as possible, a small amount of heat is always wasted…
In a new study, published in Applied Energy, scientists from the University of Bath evaluated the opportunities for industry to recover heat, and analysed which technologies would work best.
‘A large potential was seen in opportunities for re-use on site, which is the simplest method often practiced at the moment. If you have this heat currently going into the atmosphere, and you have a demand for heat at a lower temperature elsewhere in the manufacturing process you can directly use it,’ explains Dr Jonathan Norman of the University of Bath, lead researcher on the project.
‘We also found good potential for converting heat into electricity. The advantage with this is that you don’t need to re-use the heat nearby, because electricity is easily transported, and can be used for many things,’ Norman says….
‘If we supplied electricity from the heat surplus, it wouldn’t have to be generated by a fossil fuel, and if it was used locally then it wouldn’t place more pressure on the emission-intensive national grid. Overall, through a combination of technologies, we think recycling heat would save about 2.2 mega tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year. In comparison, onshore wind generation in the UK saved about 3.5 Mt of CO2 equivalent in 2010, compared to the average emissions of the national grid’ Norman explains.