Intensive industries are continuously facing new challenges in order to increase the efficiency, reliability and flexibility of their processes. In particular, due to being one of the most energy intensive processes, industrial furnaces have been the focus of multiple researches. In that sense, the overall objective of VULKANO project will contribute not only to update the mainly old-aged European furnaces but also to create a path to follow in order to ensure a successful design in case of new furnaces.
The retrofitting solutions will be tested in two real facilities in Ceramic (Spain) and Steel (Slovenia) sector, validating the replicability of such solutions in a third sector (Aluminium-Turkey).
The overall objective of VULKANO project is to design, implement and validate an advanced retrofitting integrated solution to increase the energy and environmental efficiency in existing preheating and melting industrial furnaces currently fed with natural gas. This will be achieved through implementing combined new solutions based on high-temperature phase change materials (PCMs), new refractories, optimized co-firing, advanced monitoring and control systems and a holistic in-house predictive tool.
Specific objectives of the project:
Increasing overall efficiency in 20% of two of the main types of furnaces
At least a direct 27% of fuel saving, with a direct effect on pollutant emissions
A 15 – 40% of reduction in fossil fuel consumption of natural gas by its substitution by an alternative fuel
Development of a comprehensive optimization methodology applicable to pre-heating and melting furnaces
To establish the basis for the market uptake of VULKANO tool through a strategic and business-oriented commercialization plan.
CIRCE is the coordinator of VULKANO, being in charge of the consortium and administrative management, the interaction with the EC and the appropriate execution of the project.
On the technical side, CIRCE will lead some of the main tasks such as the designing and validation of the Phase Change Materials (PCM) to recover waste heat energy from the industrial furnaces; as well as the development and implementation of the Holistic In-House Predictive Tool to address and optimize the process design and its energy and environmental performance.
Among other activities CIRCE will also take part in the establishment of guidelines for the integration of the research results into the pilot demonstrators, and in the development of the business and exploitation plans.