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Waste Heat Valorization

Waste Heat Valorization – Reduce Impact in Industrial Production.

Waste Heat Valorization – Harnessing Waste Heat as a Strategy to Reduce Waste, Costs, and Environmental Impact in Industrial Production.

In recent years, terms like “Circular Economy” and “Energy Transition” have gradually become part of our vocabulary, alongside the concepts of progress and sustainability. The recent increases in energy prices and raw materials have further accelerated the drive towards energy efficiency and the search for alternative energy sources. This has led to the emergence of new technologies aimed at reducing production waste, costs, and overall environmental impact in the industrial system. 

 In this regard, energy recycling, particularly the recycling of thermal energy, has proven to be an effective and efficient solution over time. Through the recovery and conversion of heat into energy, production processes can be powered by what are traditionally considered by-products, positively impacting atmospheric emissions and, not least, energy costs. 

Sustainable Engineering in Group ATP

For approximately 20 years, Group ATP has been designing and supplying systems for heat recovery and thermal exchange, both for HVAC systems and process heating/cooling systems. All installations are engineered from the ground up to incorporate technologies and configurations that enable efficient energy use, maximizing heat recovery and thermal cascades. 

 The technologies employed by Group ATP are primarily four: 

  1. Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC): Using a heat transfer fluid (typically a diathermic oil), heat at a temperature not lower than 120°C is recovered and converted into electrical power through a turbine. The overall efficiency of this technology reaches 18-20%, providing a significant return on investment, especially in industries operating at high temperatures.
  2. Heat Exchange: Exploiting the temperature difference between two streams, employing pinch analysis techniques for more complex systems, using one or more heat exchangers (typically plate exchangers).
  3. Conversion of Hot Thermal Energy into Cold: At a temperature of at least 90°C, the enthalpy of fluids is recovered through a specific system. This involves the thermodynamic behavior of the employed mixtures (solutions of lithium bromide, ammonia, or others).  
  4. Thermal Storage: Thermal storage systems acting as true thermal batteries. Through the use of innovative materials capable of absorbing and releasing large amounts of heat by transitioning between physical states, excess thermal energy can be stored and reused later.

Case study in waste heat valorization

One of the significant case studies in waste heat valorization, conducted by Group ATP, involves an energy recovery system integrated with gaseous emissions treatment system. 

Three plants were involved in this project. The aim, through diathermic oil systems, is to transfer heat from the fumes of production melting furnaces, cooled from approximately 500°C to 200°C, to an ORC system. The turbine in the ORC system converts the recovered heat into electrical energy. For instance, in one of the plants, about 11 MW thermal energy is converted into approximately 2 MW electrical energy, with diathermic oil flow rates exceeding 100,000 kg/h at a temperature of 310°C. 

The flue gas/oil exchangers are integrated into the flue gas treatment process, reducing particulate matter, SOx, NOx, and heavy metals. The technology employs a highly efficient catalytic ceramic candle system operating at high temperatures, optimizing exchanger sizing for hot and clean fumes simultaneously. 

“Our 20 years of experience allow us to identify, from the early design stages, critical points and key processes suitable for incorporating waste heat recovery and valorization technologies. This gives us the advantage of designing extremely efficient new plants and intervening in existing processes and systems, making these technologies suitable for any context.”Giovanni Belli, CEO of Group ATP. 

sustainable engineering

About Group ATP

GroupATP, an internationally renowned company, specializes in HVAC and Heat Recovery Systems. Thanks to our exceptional expertise and product quality, we are certified suppliers to leading global industrial players. With our strategic locations in Italy and Canada, we ensure swift worldwide equipment delivery.​