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FMETEKN-FME - teknologi

Centre for an Energy Efficient and Competitive Industry for the Future (HighEFF)

Alternative title: Senter for fremtidens energieffektive og konkurransekraftige industri

Awarded: NOK 200.2 mill.

FME HighEFF - Centre for an Energy Efficient and Competitive Industry for the Future - has defined ambitious goals for development and demonstration of technologies that may improve the energy efficiency and reduce emissions from the industry. Energy efficiency measures are necessary and enabling for the transition to a low emission society, as presented by the IEA projections to meet the 2 degree target put forward in the Paris agreement. A kWh not used, does not have to be produced. Energy efficiency measures thus are very important for an optimal transition from a social economic and environmentally perspective, and last but not least in order to maintain and increase the value creation in the society. HighEFF participates actively in relevant fora for dissemination of this message based on scientific facts and results from the Centre, for example during Arendalsuka and by publications in popular science channels as well as in peer reviewed journals. There is an increasing consensus on the importance of energy efficiency, both among politicians, in scientific fora and in public. In 2023 the first Energy Efficiency Conference was arranged under the auspices of HighEFF, and there are plans to arrange this on a yearly basis. Improved industrial energy efficiency can be achieved by improving the core industrial processes, as well as by capturing and utilizing the waste heat and other surplus energy streams, either within the individual industry, or in nearby buildings or industries. To the extent that the heat cannot be utilised directly, it may be upgraded to a higher temperature level by use of heat pumps or by conversion to power. These are tasks that are addressed in HighEFF. Large amounts of surplus energy are wasted in the industry, mainly as heat. Inefficient processes result in losses in the form of heat or other surplus energy streams. The amount of annually produced surplus heat in Europe is as high as the total heating demand in Europe! The heat may however not be available at a high enough temperature level for utilization, and often there are no potential users nearby. In this context, conversion, energy storage and development of industry clusters are important elements to obtain optimal utilisation of the energy. HighEFF partners work to help heat entrepreneurs to start companies utilising the surplus heat for purposes that may displace other energy use. Since HighEFF was started, the focus on reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from the industry has increased significantly as a result of the aim to be carbon neutral within 2050. CO2 free processes has been a scientific focus during the later years, both by evaluating processes that does not include carbon, but also concepts that can make carbon capture possible from "existing" processes. One example is recirculation of off-gases from aluminium and ferro industries in order to increase the CO2 concentration in the off-gas. Improving industrial energy efficiency is a joint effort. HighEFF is a collaboration project between many national and international universities, research institutes and industries, led by SINTEF and NTNU. In total there are more than 40 partners from almost ten different countries. The industry partners represent all the largest industry sectors in Norway: Metal producing industries, oil, gas and energy companies, chemical industry and the food industry. Apart from the goal of improving energy efficiency by 20-30 %, HighEFF aims to reduce climate gas emissions from the industry by 10 %. This includes reducing both indirect emissions due to energy consumption, as well as direct emissions from industrial processes such as refrigeration, heating and drying. Heat pumping processes utilize to a large extent synthetic refrigerants that are strong climate gases. Lately, the fluor-based alternative fluids has been in focus since many of them decompose to TFA which accumulate in the nature, with many health challenges for humans as a result. The research groups in HighEFF have long experience in developing similar processes based on natural refrigerants, not harmful for the environment (CO2, NH3, hydrocarbons and water), and this work will be continued. Demonstration of achieved effects happens through case studies and demonstration of developed concepts in the industry. A heat exchanger for heat capture from particle-laden off-gas from Aluminium smelters developed in HighEFF has been piloted and will now be installed at Alcoa Mosjøen for testing. In 2023 a company based partly on results from HighEFF, Cartesian, aims to commercialize thermal energy storage concepts for various applications. All of HighEFF's 25 PhDs and PostDoc fellows have been engaged and most of them have defended their theses. The number of scientific publications exceeds the original goal. More information about this and other results can be found on the Centre's web pages

Improved energy efficiency is expected to play a crucial role in protecting the global environment. 19 % of the contributions needed to reach the 2°C goal in climate change mitigation, which the Norwegian government has agreed to, should come from industrial energy efficiency improvements. This is more than the expected contribution from any renewable energy sources and contributes also to reduced pressure on an increasing power demand. While being crucial for climate change mitigation, efficient energy use is also a decisive competitive factor for the energy-intensive industry. In HighEFF, the research groups at SINTEF and NTNU will join forces with leading national and international industrial partners, vendors, universities and research institutions to follow the most obvious and immediate avenue to mitigate global warming: to improve energy efficiency in industry beyond state-of-the-art. The research groups represented in HighEFF are pioneers within the development of industrial processing knowledge, and within refrigeration, heat pumping and power cycles based on natural working fluids. The industry partners represent all the largest industry sectors in Norway: metal producing industries, oil and gas industry, chemical industry and the food industry, in addition to relevant vendors and technology providers. Energy efficiency will be addressed at different levels, from components to process, plant, cluster and geographical region. HighEFF will focus on technologies and processes with potential for large reductions in specific energy use: (i) energy efficient processing (6-10 % reduction), (ii) surplus heat utilization (10-12 % reduction), and (iii) green industrial clusters (4-8 % reduction). Through technologies developed in HighEFF, a total reduction in specific energy use of 20-30 % can thus be possible. Shifting to natural working fluids and reducing the fossil fuels consumption can allow 10 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

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FMETEKN-FME - teknologi