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Water pinch : simultaneous energy and water use minimisation

Exploitable results

A novel Water Pinch methodology was developed by UMIST to decrease the number of heat transfer units based on separate system generation and non-isothermal stream mixing. Also, a new tool to design a system for simultaneous water and energy minimization was developed - Two-dimensional Grid Diagram. A new method of dealing with interactions between energy and water minimization and the subsequent trade-offs was introduced. Issues of design of a water system for maximum energy recovery and minimum number of heat transfer units have also been addressed. Two different energy recovery systems have been analyzed: direct and indirect, and three different schemes been compared: no mixing water streams for heat transfer, isothermal stream mixing and non-isothermal stream mixing. Isothermal stream mixing gives the opportunity to reduce the complexity of stream distribution, and realise better structure and size for HEN without any penalty in energy consumption. UMIST developed in close collaboration with the project partners the prototype software. New techniques were implemented in order to combine the two existing methodologies in software, and provide a flexible and imaginative user interface. The software was structured and highly interactive, and provides results in an easy, unambiguous, methodological form. Practical refinement of the how the technology is exposed in a re-usable format through generic software implementation is critical to project application. LM have reviewed the prototype software as it has been developed and provided valuable feedback related to user friendly exposure of some of the detailed technical features of the concepts. As part of the review an industrial case study in the food industry was undertaken. The savings identified were substantial with hot utility requirements reduced by 80%. In parallel with this LM have undertaken a review of the industrial sectors where the technology is marketable to identify industrial sector specific set procedures and problem areas for the practical exposure of the technology. UPC has extended the basic concepts of UMIST development for energy and water use minimization from continuous to time-dependent processes. UPC has developed novel methodologies and techniques that contemplate the time dependence of the different process variables. The methodology is based on the use of storage tanks for spent water leading to minimum water use by means of reuse. The heat integration problem has been addressed by means of an operations timing methodology that enhances hot and cold process streams simultaneously and makes possible heat integration between them. UPC has developed a supporting software prototype, which combines both methodologies and is provided with a user-friendly interface. The methodologies proposed by UPC have been applied to industrial cases of the beverage and food industrial sectors. Specific case studies have been realised in the DAMM brewery as well as in the fruit juice manufacturing plant INDUL. In both cases considerable water and energy use reductions have been obtained.

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