Current vehicle bio-methane plants have drawbacks associated with high energy consumption and low recovery levels of waste heat produced during the gasification process. In this paper, we have optimized the performance of heat exchange networks using pinch analysis and through the introduction of heat pump integration technology. Optimal results for the heat exchange network of a bio-gas system producing 10,000 cubic meters have been calculated using a pinch point temperature of 50 °C, a minimum heating utility load of 234.02 kW and a minimum cooling utility load of 201.25 kW. These optimal parameters are predicted to result in energy savings of 116.08 kW (19.75%), whilst the introduction of new heat pump integration technology would afford further energy savings of 95.55 kW (16.25%). The combined energy saving value of 211.63 kW corresponds to a total energy saving of 36%, with economic analysis revealing that these reforms would give annual savings of 103,300 USD. The installation costs required to introduce these process modifications are predicted to require an initial investment of 423,200 USD, which would take 4.1 years to reach payout time based on predicted annual energy savings.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited