The topic of waste heat recovery has been bandied around the boardroom tables of many industries around the world.
From steel, glass, ceramics and cement manufacturing to chemical processing, power generation and oil and gas, today’s business leaders are looking for ways to leverage the many different types of technologies that give them to the power to reduce their primary energy consumption and, ultimately, provide that competitive edge.
In his latest book titled Waste Heat Recovery in Process Industries, Hussam Jouhara, Technical Director at Econotherm and Professor/Department Director for Research at Brunel University London,
takes an in-depth dive into different types of waste heat recovery systems, with a focus on industrial applications in different temperature ranges.
We sat down with Jouhara to explore the topics of his book, including the role that heat pipe heat exchangers will play in industrial decarbonisation going forward.
First, tell us why you decided to write this book?
"My main motivation for writing Waste Heat Recovery in Process Industries was to highlight the many different advances in waste heat recovery technologies in the light of industry’s drive to decarbonize various industrial processes. The topic of waste heat recovery is incredibly relevant these days given its potential to reduce primary fuel consumption, leading to cheaper, more efficient and better for the environment processes.
"The book includes many of novel designs that I developed – some of which, interestingly, were manufactured by Econotherm under various research projects that I led/lead. A few examples of those include ETEKINA, a EU-funded research project aiming to recover 57% to 70% of the waste heat stream in energy-intensive industries; the DREAM initiative, which aims to improve the architecture for ceramic industrial furnaces; Smartrec, a project that is looking to develop a standard, modular solution for integration of heat recovery with thermal storage, and; iWays, which is developing a set of technologies and systems for industrial processes to recover waste water and heat streams."
Who is the book intended for?
"The book will be very useful to engineers, managers and professionals dealing with energy planning and management in process industries. Researchers can also benefit from it as it contains the required level of theory and analysis that would enable modelling activities on the topic."
You reference heat pipe heat exchangers as one of several types of heat transfer devices currently in the market. What benefits do they provide in context of waste heat recovery?
"They provide solutions to scenarios that have been deemed, for many technical reasons, unviable using conventional technologies. In fact, all the included scenarios in the book would have been impossible to achieve without the heat pipe technology."
Another topic you discuss is that of recovering waste heat from medium- and high-temperature applications. What challenges come up in those situations?
"The main challenges are corrosion management, materials compatibility and efficient heat transfer processes. The heat pipe solution provides answers to all of these as it eliminates cold spots, leading to low corrosion risk. It also enables the selection of suitable materials that will be compatible with the gas composition.
"Another advantage is the 100% separation between the hot and cold streams. This adds a very important safety net that protects the process from the risk of cross contamination between the hot and cold sources."
Lastly, you touch on different types of heat pump systems. How does this coincide with the increasingly popular topic of “energy upcycling” in industrial processes?
"Many waste heat recovery opportunities are missed as the temperature of the heat source is rather low, which makes the recycling of this heat back to the process unviable due to requirements for higher temperature for the heat sink fluids. This is why heat upgrading is important when it comes to unlocking the potential of the low-grade waste heat recovery."
About the author: Hussam Jouhara is Technical Director at Econotherm and Full Professor of Thermal Engineering at Brunel University in London, UK. His research and professional foci are on the development of heat pipe-based heat exchangers with successful implementation in a multitude of temperature ranges, including cryogenic and high-temperature industrial waste heat recovery.
For more information, contact Hussam at firstname.lastname@example.org.