Heavy industries in Australia, including alumina, steel, chemicals, cement, glass, bricks, pulp and paper, consume around 400 PJ per year of energy for heat, supplied mainly by burning natural gas and coal.
Whilst much of this heating demand is out of the range of existing heat pump technology, developments in ultra-high temperature heat pumps and mechanical vapour recompression (MVR) will see heat pumps become increasingly important in this sector.
Australia’s fleet of six alumina refineries can electrify up to 65% of their heating needs by utilising MVR technology. This is the single largest opportunity for Australia to electrify process heating and reduce CO2 emissions.
The pulp and paper industry already makes extensive use of bioenergy for their own processes but still consume large amounts of fossil fuels. MVR technology is partly utilised in the industry but has potential to do much more.
Building materials such as bricks, cement, steel and glass are created at high temperatures however opportunity exists to utilise ultra-high temperature heat pumps which deliver heat at 1600 °C to perform part of the heating needed.
Heavy industry sector reports and resources:
The overall objective of DryFiciency project is to lead the European energy intensive industry to high energy efficiency and a reduction of fossil carbon emissions by means of waste heat recovery. It focusses on the application of heat pump in industrial drying and dehydration processes of the agricultural, ceramic and pet feed industry. The ultimate goal of DryFiciency project is to elaborate technically and economically viable solutions for upgrading idle waste heat streams to process heat streams at higher temperature levels up to 160°C.