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Techno-Economic Assessment of Waste Heat Recovery Technologies for the Food Processing Industry

1
National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield S9 2AA, UK
2
School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing, Cranfield University, Bedford MK43 0AL, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is an extended version of our paper presented in 1st International Conference on Sustainable Energy and Resource Use in Food Chains, Windsor, UK, 19–21 April 2017. The paper was published in the Journal of Energy Procedia, Vol. 123, pp. 321–328.
Energies 2020, 13(23), 6446; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13236446
Received: 29 October 2020 / Revised: 24 November 2020 / Accepted: 1 December 2020 / Published: 5 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Thermal Management)
The food manufacturing sector is one of the most dominant consumers of energy across the globe. Food processing methods such as drying, baking, frying, malting, roasting, etc. rely heavily on the heat released from burning fossil fuels, mainly natural gas or propane. Less than half of this heat contributes to the actual processing of the product and the remaining is released to the surroundings as waste heat, primarily through exhaust gases at 150 to 250 °C. Recovering this waste heat can deliver significant fuel, cost and CO2 savings. However, selecting an appropriate sink for this waste heat is challenging due to the relatively low source temperature. This study investigates a novel application of gas-to-air low temperature waste heat recovery technology for a confectionary manufacturing process, through a range of experiments. The recovered heat is used to preheat a baking oven’s combustion air at inlet before it enters the fuel-air mixture. The investigated technology is compared with other waste heat recovery schemes involving Regenerative Organic Rankine Cycles (RORC), Vapour Absorption Refrigeration (VAR) and hot water production. The findings indicate that utilising an oven’s exhaust gases to preheat combustion air can deliver up to 33% fuel savings, provided a sufficiently large heat sink in the form of oven combustion air is available. Due to a lower investment cost, the technology also offers a payback period of only 1.57 years, which makes it financially attractive when compared to others. The studied waste heat recovery technologies can deliver a CO2 savings of 28–356 tonnes per year from a single manufacturing site. The modelling and comparison methodology, observations and outcomes of this study can be extended to a variety of low temperature food manufacturing processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: waste heat recovery; baking; energy efficiency; food manufacturing; organic rankine cycle; vapour absorption cooling waste heat recovery; baking; energy efficiency; food manufacturing; organic rankine cycle; vapour absorption cooling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mukherjee, S.; Asthana, A.; Howarth, M.; Chowdhury, J.I. Techno-Economic Assessment of Waste Heat Recovery Technologies for the Food Processing Industry. Energies 2020, 13, 6446. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13236446

AMA Style

Mukherjee S, Asthana A, Howarth M, Chowdhury JI. Techno-Economic Assessment of Waste Heat Recovery Technologies for the Food Processing Industry. Energies. 2020; 13(23):6446. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13236446

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mukherjee, Sanjay; Asthana, Abhishek; Howarth, Martin; Chowdhury, Jahedul I. 2020. "Techno-Economic Assessment of Waste Heat Recovery Technologies for the Food Processing Industry" Energies 13, no. 23: 6446. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13236446

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