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A CO2 neutral factory  Ambitie CO2-neutraal Fabrieken

A ambitious goal

A large amount of energy, particularly in the form of high-temperature heat, is used to run production processes in the industry sector. The energy used for this is currently mostly generated from fossil fuels that release CO2. This type of energy-intensive production is also associated with high costs for the manufacturer and does not fit in with the future image of the energy transition: a sustainable, CO2 neutral industry.
The demand for a  CO2 factory is, therefore, becoming increasingly common. But what does a CO2 neutral factory look like? And which steps need to be taken to achieve this? Iv-Industrie has implemented several projects whereby impressive results have been achieved in reducing CO2 emissions, including an entirely CO2 neutral factory.

Energy consumption in relation to the business case

The first step to realising a sustainable factory is saving energy by, among other things, using the residual heat that is produced. Directly using or storing recovered residual heat at different temperature levels ensures a more efficient availability than when the residual heat flows are mixed. The use of lower process temperatures not only saves energy, but it also increases the possibilities for using residual heat directly.
The implementation of these steps requires (extra) investment. For each business case, we, therefore, define the exact aspirations and parameters, such as shorter cycle times, process intensification and the use of alternative energy sources. Existing and new processes are then (re)designed based on these new parameters.

Alternative sources of energy

Using renewable energy sources as much as possible to reduce CO2 emissions as well as saving energy is a very important step. For example, the possibility of using ‘fossil free’ green gas generated by burning biomass. However, both fossil fuels and green gas release CO2 and NOx when burned. The formation of NOx can be reduced by recirculating relatively cold process air.
Another alternative is the use of green electricity generated from wind, water and solar energy. For example, electrical energy can be used to heat air, steam or thermal oil for processes up to approximately 300°C. However, heating with electricity takes more time than heating by burning gas.
Converting the surplus green energy produced from offshore wind energy into hydrogen, expanding existing hydrogen networks and using parts of the natural gas network for hydrogen, are all initiatives that are currently being developed. As a result, the possibility of using hydrogen as a combustion gas will become an increasingly realistic option in the future.

Would you like to know more about the possibilities for your project? A CO2 neutral factory requires a (re)design of processes and is an ambitious assignment. Iv-Industrie is happy to help and offer advice on this. Contact Ruud Verheul to explore the possibilities for your production environment.
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