# Towards Efficient and Clean Process Integration: Utilisation of Renewable Resources and Energy-Saving Technologies

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## Abstract

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## 1. An Overview and Introduction

^{9}inhabitants by 2035. The rapid rise of the global population results in almost one-third of the expected increase in energy consumption—see Figure 1. The global oil and natural gas reserves are expected to be exhausted within 60 years if they are exploited at the current rate as predicted by British Petroleum Company (BP) [3], which raises the issues of energy security. As reported by Mah et al. [4], since the Paris Agreement of 2015, 195 countries are committed to investing efforts to reduce the global average temperature rise to below 2 °C and limit the warming threshold to 1.5 °C. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in a business-as-usual scenario are expected to cause the planet to heat up by 4 °C, creating imbalanced disruptions to the ecological systems. Considering the severe environmental impacts and quick diminishing of natural resources due to exploitation, a cleaner and more sustainable energy resource alternative is needed.

_{2}, CO

_{2}, NO

_{x}, PM

_{2.5}, mercury and lead, and the results show significant health savings can be achieved. Likewise, Patridge and Gamkhar [15] quantified the health benefits of replacing coal-fired generation with 100% wind or small hydro in China. The scenario analysis shows a significant reduction number of hospital stays due to reductions in SO

_{2}, NO

_{x}and particulate emissions. Heat generation from renewables might not be the ideal case for air pollutant reduction. For example, the gasification of biomass can produce various ultrafine particles that are detrimental to human health. Poláčik et al. [16] conducted the analysis and concluded that the oxygen contents in the atmosphere could result in higher particulate matter production from biomass combustion. This requires post-treatment for biomass conversion before discharging the flue gas into the atmosphere. To compare between energy supply options, Table 1 shows the economic-environmental impact indicators for the power generating options, adopted from Brook and Bradshaw [12].

_{2}emissions would continue to rise with existing energy policies in the next 20 years. The analysis from WEO also predicted that future electrification in transportation, buildings and industry would lead to a peak oil demand before 2030 and reduce air pollutants. However, the impacts on GHG emissions are negligible after the year 2030. Stronger efforts are needed to increase the utilisation of renewables with low carbon contents so that the predicted CO

_{2}emissions could decrease (Figure 3). With agreed international objectives, government from all countries could cooperate to tackle the issues of air quality, climate change and universal access to modern energy, ideally results in a significant reduction of global CO

_{2}emissions. The policies integration around the world is the key to achieve common targets of sustainability, global Circular Economy and the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

_{STD}), a conventional analysis that focuses on the energy input for the extraction and the energy needed to generate the desired output; (b) Point of Use EROI (EROI

_{POU}), the boundary is extended to the additional spent energy to refining and transporting the fuel; (c) Extended EROI (EROI

_{EXT}), this EROI analysis consider the further the use of that energy in specific applications, for example, to run a boiler. Lambert et al. [24] further emphasised that the EROI boundaries should sum up the entire gains from the fuels and entire energy spent on the fuels. They stress that the vision for a modern energy system should extend to any non-energy cost for setting up the energy system. The temporal boundaries also should cover from the starts of the project until the end of the project. Figure 6 shows the temporal boundaries for determining the comprehensive net energy requirement of thermal technology.

## 2. Main Topics in this Special Volume

- (a)
- Design and numerical study for innovative energy-efficient technologies
- (b)
- Process Integration—heat and power
- (c)
- Process energy efficiency or emissions analysis
- (d)
- Optimisation of renewable energy resources supply chain

#### 2.1. Design and Numerical Study for Innovative Energy-Efficient Technologies

#### 2.1.1. Core Developments

- (a)
- Research on electric energy storage from Khodadoost et al. [30], including: battery energy storage systems (BESSs), flywheel energy storage systems (FESS), supercapacitors (SC) or ultracapacitors, superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES), and compressed air energy storage (CAES), among others.To minimise the total costs of hybrid power systems (HPS), Jiang et al. [31] proposed a mathematical model for the configuration of BESSs with multiple types of battery. The authors studied the effect of battery types and capacity degradation characteristics on the optimal capacity configuration of the BEES alongside with power scheduling schemes of the hybrid power systems. The performance of the proposed model was verified through the case study of HPS with photovoltaic-wind-biomass-batteries. The authors found the BESS with multiple types of battery is superior to the one with a single battery type.Duan et al. [32] studied a hybrid generation system consisting of a micro gas turbine (MGT) generator system coupled with a supercapacitor (SC) energy storage. The authors proposed two cooperative control methods for the hybrid generation system. The first one was a PI-based control algorithm, and the other is the electric power coordinated control method through MGT output power forecast. The authors found that the electric power dynamic response of SC energy storage can compensate for the low dynamic responses of MGT, which allows achieving a transient power equilibrium state in real-time.Santos et al. [33] studied the possibility of adapting superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) in smart grids since the characteristics of smart cities enhance the use of high power density storage systems such as SMES. The authors simulated the effects of an energy storage system with the high power density and designed an electrical and control adaptation circuit for storing energy. The simulation results show the possibility of controlling the energy supply as the storage. The authors also discussed the drawbacks of SMES, such as the high cost of construction and operation compared with other EES, i.e., superconductors.Compressed air energy storage (CAES) is an up-and-coming large capacity energy storage technology, primarily due to the increased share of renewable energy sources. Venkataramani et al. [34] performed a comprehensive thermodynamic analysis for conventional and modified configurations of CAES, with increased round-trip efficiency. The results showed that when the compressed air is kept isothermal at atmospheric conditions, the mass of air stored in the tank will be high, so the size of the storage tank can be reduced. The authors also studied the possibility of cooling energy generation along with power generation during the expansion of compressed air from the atmospheric temperature. The results showed that even the round-trip efficiency is weak, in the case when the heat of compression and cold energy generated during expansion are utilized for other applications, the overall polygeneration efficiency is very high.
- (b)
- Research on thermal energy storage, including short-term and long-term storages, based on Guelpa and Verda [35]. Also depending on the physical phenomenon used for storing heat TES: sensible, latent and chemical storages, and depending on the size: small TES with a low capacity, and large capacity TES systems. TES can also be classified depending on the mobility, i.e., mobile and stationary TES.Bhagat et al. [36] proposed the finned multi-tube latent heat thermal energy storage system (LHTES) for medium temperature (approximate 200 °C) solar thermal power plant in reducing the fluctuations in heat transfer fluid (HTF) temperature caused by the intermittent solar radiation. The authors used phase change materials (PCMs) as the storage material in the shell of LHTES while a thermal oil-based HTF is flowing through the tubes. The authors applied thermal conductivity enhances (TCE)—fins to improve the heat transfer in PCM. The fluid flow and heat transfer were studied numerically. The coupling with the enthalpy technique to account for the phase change process in the PCM was also performed. The developed model was validated experimentally. The results showed that the number of fins and fin thickness considerably affect the thermal performance of the storage system, whereas the enhancement in heat transfer for high thermal conductivity material fin is low.Silakhori et al. [37] investigated the potential of copper oxide for both thermal energy storage and oxygen production in a liquid chemical looping thermal energy storage system. Thermogravimetric analysis was used as the assessment method. The significant advantage of liquid chemical looping thermal energy storage is the availability of stored thermal energy (through sensible heating, phase change, and thermochemical reactions) and oxygen production. The authors achieved isothermal reduction and oxidation reactions by varying the partial pressure of oxygen, through the change in concentrations of oxygen and nitrogen. The experimental confirmed that copper oxide could be reduced in the liquid state. However, thermochemical storage mainly occurred in the solid phase.Heat storage plays a crucial role in the buildings. Taler at al. [38] studied the thermal performance of the heat storage unit made of repeatable modules. The heat accumulator proposed by the authors that are used in solar installations may be a separate unit, or it may be a building wall insulated on the inner and outer surfaces. The accumulator works as a heat storage unit with electric discharge using forced airflow through the channels. The authors determined the transient temperature field in the walls of the channel. Three various methods were used: finite volume method (FVM), control volume-based finite element method (CVFEM), and finite element method (FEM). The preferred method, due to simplicity in the discretization of the governing equation, is CVFEM. Therefore, it was chosen for the construction of a full model of the heat storage to model a solid filling of a heat storage unit with a complex shape. The authors also developed a numerical model of the heat storage unit with the airflow through the channel and CFD simulation was employed. The airflow from the laminar, transitional, or turbulent flow regimes was considered. The airflow was modelled using the finite volume method with integral averaging of air temperature over the finite volume length, and the accurate air temperature distribution can be determined even with a coarse finite volume mesh. The performance of the heat accumulator model was validated experimentally in an experimental study [39] and further evaluated using numerical models [40].Thermal energy storage techniques are highly required during the operation of solar collector networks. Martínez-Rodríguez et al. [41] proposed a stepwise design approach for solar collectors’ networks. The approach allows the assessment of the effect that design variables have on the size of the solar collector. Also, a design strategy is proposed to obtain the network of solar collectors with the smallest surface and the most extended operation during the day.
- (c)
- Research on photovoltaic, and photovoltaic-thermal systems, including the improvement of PV efficiency by PV panels cooling. The efficiency of converting solar energy into electricity is still relatively low, which causes a significant amount of solar energy is not utilised. The excess of solar energy that remains unused is still absorbed, in some part, by a PV module and may cause a significant increase in the PV panel temperature. According to Kalogirou and Tripanagnostopoulos [42], PV efficiency decreases by 0.45% per each 1 °C temperature increase above 25 °C. In order to increase the energy efficiency of photovoltaic modules by using the effect of PV panel heating, and to increase the efficiency of solar to electricity conversion, cooling systems for the PV modules are used. Few PV cooling techniques may be distinguished, including active and passive techniques. For active cooling, a forced flow of cooling fluid (e.g., water or air) or water spraying may be used, among others. Passive cooling uses natural convection and heat conduction to dissipate and remove heat from the PV cell. Passive cooling techniques increase energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the system, but still, active cooling removes more efficient, due to the higher heat transfer coefficient.The analysis of passive cooling for the photovoltaic modules using selective spectral cooling and radiative cooling was performed by Li et al. [43]. The cooling processes are based on the principle of suppressing heating by the PV module itself. The investigation proved that PV modules with selective spectral cooling, passive radiative cooling, and combined cooling could increase the efficiency by 0.98%, 2.40%, and 4.55%.Alizadeh et al. [44] studied the use of a single turn pulsating heat pipe (PHP) for PV cooling. A two-phase heat transfer mechanism ensures high thermal efficiency of PHP. The corresponding 3D numerical models were developed, and PV cooling by applying a single turn PHP was analysed. Moreover, a copper fin with the same dimensions as the PHP for cooling the PV panel was simulated to compare the performance of the PHP with a solid metal like copper. The performance investigation of the PV panel has proved that PHP cooling ensures the reduction of the PV panel surface temperature by 16.1 ⁰C while the use of copper PHP only by 4.9 °C.
- (d)
- Research on energy systems components monitoring and design. Thick-wall boiler components are limiting the maximum heating and cooling rates during start-up or shut-down of the boiler. Taler et al. [45] presented a method for thermal monitoring stresses in the thick-walled pressure components of steam boilers. The allowable heating rates of the critical pressure components of the boiler shall be determined, alongside with the temperature of the fluid. The rate of change of the wall temperature of the pressure component and the thermal stress on the inner surface are controlled online and compared with the allowable values. The boiler’s manufacturers designate thermal stresses on the inner surface of the pressure component on the edge of the hole based on the measurement of the wall temperature at two points located inside it. However, the accuracy of the method used by boiler manufacturers is low. The authors proposed a new method for thermal stress determination. The method is based only on the internal temperature measurement point to determine the stresses on the inner surface of the component. The method employs the inverse heat conduction algorithms to find the internal surface temperature, and then the stresses are calculated. The authors also performed computational tests for cylindrical and spherical elements. The thermal stresses on the inner surface were also determined using the actual temperature data. The significant advantage of the proposed method is the high accuracy even at rapid changes in the fluid temperature. Trzcinski and Markowski [46] proposed a data-driven framework of diagnosing fouling effects on shell and tube heat exchangers using an artificial neural network. The data are continuously sampled and collected to estimate the pressure drop increment or heat transfer drop in the outlet. The fouling effect can thus be predicted using the model automatically and provides a base for tubes cleaning scheduling. Oravec et al. [47] proposed a closed-loop model predictive control using the novel soft-constrained based strategy for plate heat exchanger. The strategy keeps the control inputs and outputs within the required operation ranges. The experimental results show the improved control performance with such a strategy, and future application in laboratory implementation is undertaking.Taler et al. [48] proposed two methods for monitoring of thermal stresses in pressure components of thermal power plants. The first method determines the transient temperature distribution by measuring the transient wall temperature distribution at several points located at the outer insulated surface of the pressure component. Taking the outer surface temperature measurements as the input, the inverse heat conduction algorithm calculates the temperature distribution in the pressure component. Based on the temperature field determined, it is possible to calculate the thermal stresses. The second method proposed by the authors involves the finite element method (FEM) calculation of thermal stresses, taking as the input the measured fluid temperature and heat transfer coefficient. The method is suitable for pressure components with complex shape. Other applications of inverse heat conduction algorithms in the monitoring and optimisation of the heating rate of pressure components of steam boilers are presented in [49] dealing with the thermal stresses in the pipes and in [50] focusing on thick-wall components.Perić et al. [51] performed a numerical analysis of longitudinal residual stresses and deflections in a T-joint filled welded structure using a local preheating technique. FEM calculations were performed. The authors found that by applying a preheating temperature prior to starting of welding, the post-welding deformations of welded structures can be considerably reduced. The authors also studied the effect of inter-pass time (i.e., 60 s and 120 s) between two weld passes on the longitudinal residual thermal stress state and plate deflection. The results showed that with the increase of inter-pass time, the plate deflections significantly increase, while the effect of the inter-pass time on the longitudinal residual stress field is marginal.Fialová and Jegla [52] proposed a novel framework for the efficient design of fired equipment. The authors supplemented the traditional thermal-hydraulic calculation of the radiant and convective section by the low-cost modelling systems taking into account the real distribution of heat flux and process fluids. The application of the low-cost models was demonstrated in the industrial steam boiler case. The significant advantages of the proposed approach are that the presented framework links calculations of radiant and convective sections in the combustion chamber, and offers a fast rating calculation of complex fired equipment. The proposed approach can successfully supplement CFD simulation, that should be used for critical components of power boilers.Sriromreun and Sriromreun [53] studied the numerical and experimental characteristics of the airflow impinging on a dimpled surface for air at Re numbers varied from 1500 to 14,600. The authors compared the heat transfer coefficient between the jet impingement on the dimpled surface and the flat plate. The CFD simulations results showed the different airflow characteristics for the dimpled surface and the flat plate. For a particular case, it was shown that a thermal enhancement of up to 5.5 could be achieved by using the dimpled surface.Flow boiling heat transfer is characterized by high heat transfer coefficient. Sun et al. [54] performed an experimental investigation to explore the flow boiling characteristics of R134A and R410A refrigerants flowing inside enhanced tubes. The experimental conditions included saturation temperatures of 6
^{o}C and 10^{o}C, mass velocities from 70 to 200 kg/(m^{2}s) and heat fluxes from 10 to 35 kW/m^{2}. The inlet and outlet vapour quality was equal to 0.2 and 0.8. The results showed that the dimples/protrusions and petal arrays are the effective surface structures for enhancing the tube-side evaporation. Moreover, the Re-EHT tube has the largest potential for boiling heat transfer enhancement. García-Castillo et al. [55] also discovered new opportunities to utilise plate-fin surfaces as a secondary surface in a multi-stream heat exchanger. They considered the theoretical design study of such new heat exchanger design, emphasising on the surface design to improve heat transfer coefficients. However, since the design is at the conceptual stage, reliable and accurate thermal-hydraulic correlations are needed.Heat transfer enhancement is highly required in energy equipment. Valdes et al. [56] studied the effect of twists in the internal tube of tube-in-tube helical heat exchanger keeping constant one type of ridges. The CFD simulations were performed to study the effect of the fluid flow rate on heat transfer in the internal and annular flow. The counter-current flow mode operation with hot fluid in the internal tube and cold fluid in the annular domain was considered. The flow and thermal development in a tube-in-tube helical heat exchanger were predicted. The double passive technique was provided within the internal tube to improve the turbulence in the outer region. The results showed that the addition of four ridges in the inner tube increases the heat transfer up to 28.8% when compared to the smooth tube. Kukulka et al. [57] also studied the flow characteristics for condensing and evaporating streams inside Vipertex stainless steel enhanced heat transfer tubes using R410A refrigerants. They proposed that using the Vipertex enhanced tubes are more energy-efficient than using old technology for phase change streams. As condensation and evaporation processes increase the interfacial turbulence, the proposed technology produces flow separation, secondary flows and higher heat flux from the wall to the working fluid.

#### 2.1.2. Possible Future Development

#### 2.2. Process Integration—Heat and Power

#### 2.2.1. Core Developments

^{2}EPI. The tool can handle several energy management scenarios automatically, saving a significant amount of time for tedious routine calculations. It not only features energy or cost targeting, but it also identifies the optimal heat exchanger network design opportunities based on the heat exchanger loops and utility paths. The trade-off between design for minimum total annual cost or minimum temperature difference can also be identified, based on the preferences of the users. It is especially useful for Process Integration practitioners, saving extensive time or efforts in performing targeted calculations or network optimisation.

_{2}and GHG generally was highlighted by Manan et al. [68]. Another attempt to extend the Pinch Analysis was presented by Li et al. [69] focusing on the retrofitting of heat exchanger networks. The graphical approach provides interfaces to the users to get insights into the system bottlenecks. Iterative Pinch Analysis to address non-linearity in a stochastic Pinch problem was very recently studied by Arya and Bandyopadhyay [70]. Jain and Bandyopadhyay [71] developed multi-objective optimisation for segregated targeting problems using Pinch Analysis, which again extends the scope of Process Integration.

_{2}heat pump water heaters based on Pinch Analysis.

#### 2.2.2. Possible Future Developments

#### 2.3. Process Energy Efficiency/Emissions Analysis

#### 2.3.1. Recent Developments

_{3}—all in the range of 12-16 mass%. There was also non-negligible and dangerous content of metal oxides—including MnO (7.6%) and Na

_{2}O (2.4%), as well as heavy metal oxides (Cr

_{2}O

_{3}, CdO, TiO

_{2}, SrO) and even P

_{2}O

_{5}. These results indicate the need to deeper investigate the process of biomass gasification, for establishing the true extent of the resulting pollution and footprints and the means of their minimisation, for providing sustainable solutions.

_{2}eq/y to 1,628 Mt CO

_{2}eq/y, representing an increased rate of 180%. The authors concluded that the current unit product cost of seawater desalination in China is still higher than other water alternatives, but it has good potential for reduction with the improvement of desalination technologies. The unit product cost shows a decreasing trend with increasing the processing capacity.

#### 2.3.2. Possible Future Developments

_{2}emission overhead of logistics. A good step in this direction has been the framework by How et al. [120], which needs, however, further development of technology solutions that are closer to practical implementation.

#### 2.4. Optimisation of Renewable Energy Resources Supply Chain

#### 2.4.1. Core Developments

#### 2.4.2. Possible Future Development

## 3. Conclusions

## Author Contributions

## Funding

## Conflicts of Interest

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**Figure 1.**Global energy consumption for different fuels adapted from Capuano [5].

**Figure 2.**Global renewable energy consumption, adapted from Ritchie and Roser [19].

**Figure 3.**Predicted global GHG emissions with different energy policies, adapted from WEO [21].

**Figure 4.**Utilising stored renewable energy surplus to satisfy the energy demand, adapted from Movallen [25].

**Figure 5.**Possible boundaries of a net energy assessment, adapted from Hall et al. [23].

**Figure 6.**Net energy requirements for technology, adapted from Priesto and Hall [26].

**Figure 8.**Proposed exergetic efficiency calculation boundary to access resource consumption and depletion, adapted from Connelly and Koshland [29].

**Figure 9.**Pinch Methodology in energy targeting (adapted from Klemeš et al. [59]).

**Figure 10.**Illustration of industrial Total Site processes with central utility system (adapted from Klemeš et al. [60]).

**Figure 11.**Illustration of Power Pinch Analysis (PoPA), adapted from Wan Alwi et al. [66].

**Table 1.**Relative ranking of the power generation options, data adapted from Brook and Bradshaw [12]. The values in brackets are the relative ranking between energy options.

Indicator Category | GHG Emissions (kt CO_{2}/TWh) | Electricity Cost ($/TWh) | Land Use (km^{2}/TWh) | Safety (Fatality/TWh) | Solid Waste (kt/TWh) | Capacity Factors * (%) | Toxic Waste Amount |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

Coal | 1,001 (7) | 100.1 (4) | 2.1 (3) | 161 (7) | 58.6 (7) | 70–90 (2) | Mid (6) |

Natural gas | 469 (6) | 65.6 (1) | 1.1 (2) | 4 (5) | NA (1) | 60–90 (3) | Low (3) |

Nuclear | 16 (3) | 108.4 (5) | 0.1 (1) | 0.04 (1) | NA (1) | 60–100 (1) | High (7) |

Biomass | 18 (4) | 111 (6) | 95 (7) | 12 (6) | 9.17 (6) | 50–60 (4) | Low (3) |

Hydro | 4 (1) | 90.3 (3) | 50 (6) | 1.4 (4) | NA (1) | 30–80 (5) | Trace (1) |

Wind (onshore) | 12 (2) | 86.6 (2) | 46 (5) | 0.15 (2) | NA (1) | 30–50 (6) | Trace (1) |

Solar PV | 46 (5) | 144.3 (7) | 5.7 (4) | 0.44 (3) | NA (1) | 12–19 (7) | Trace (1) |

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**MDPI and ACS Style**

Klemeš, J.J.; Varbanov, P.S.; Ocłoń, P.; Chin, H.H. Towards Efficient and Clean Process Integration: Utilisation of Renewable Resources and Energy-Saving Technologies. *Energies* **2019**, *12*, 4092.
https://doi.org/10.3390/en12214092

**AMA Style**

Klemeš JJ, Varbanov PS, Ocłoń P, Chin HH. Towards Efficient and Clean Process Integration: Utilisation of Renewable Resources and Energy-Saving Technologies. *Energies*. 2019; 12(21):4092.
https://doi.org/10.3390/en12214092

**Chicago/Turabian Style**

Klemeš, Jiří Jaromír, Petar Sabev Varbanov, Paweł Ocłoń, and Hon Huin Chin. 2019. "Towards Efficient and Clean Process Integration: Utilisation of Renewable Resources and Energy-Saving Technologies" *Energies* 12, no. 21: 4092.
https://doi.org/10.3390/en12214092