Waste Heat Recovery from Industrial Process Heating Equipment – Cross-cutting Research and Development Priorities

January 17, 2013 - 11:00am
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Waste heat is generated from several industrial systems used in manufacturing.  The waste heat sources are distributed throughout a plant.  The largest source for most industries is exhaust / flue gases or heated air from heating systems.  This includes the high temperature gases from burners in process heating, lower temperature gases from heat treat, dryers, and heaters, heat from heat exchangers, cooling liquids and gases etc. The previous studies and direct contact with the industry as well as equipment suppliers have shown that a large amount of waste heat is not recovered in two temperature ranges of ultra-low temperature (1600 deg. F.).  The seminar will offer primary reasons for the lack of wide scale heat recovery in these two temperature regimes as well as some specific areas of research or product development by the temperature regimes at which the waste heat is available. Dr. Nimbalkar will also discuss his current research aimed at developing and testing materials and concepts that allow recovery of sensible and chemical heat from high temperature contaminated gases discharged from Electric Arc Furnaces. EAF melting process discharges a large amount of heat as high temperature (>1000°C) exhaust gases or off-gases which are highly contaminated.  The contaminants include condensable and non-condensable vapors, particulate matter, and corrosive gases. The EAF process is a batch process so composition and mass flow of gases vary during the cycle time.  At this time there is not only the contained energy that is wasted but a large amount of energy is used to handle and treat these gases prior to their discharge into the atmosphere. Existing heat recovery systems (for example - metallic recuperators) have severe limitations on their life, usually 6 to 12 months, even with use of specially selected alloys because of highly corrosive, high temperature environment.  The goal is to develop an energy conversion system that allows conversion of wasted heat into usable form of energy by using appropriate technology.

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