15 November 2012 18:02 [Source: ICIS news]
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (ICIS)--Cogeneration can convert 70% of energy obtained through fossil fuels into power and steam, allowing companies to maximise efficiency and reduce emissions, an Eastman Chemical executive said on Thursday.
Coal and natural gas are inexpensive sources used to power chemical manufacturing sites, but the US wastes most of the fuels’ energy, corporate strategy manager Fred Cleveland said during the ChemInnovations 2012 Conference.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 50% of coal’s energy is wasted if not used conventionally, and more than 60% is wasted if it is converted to electricity in a traditional power plant.
Cogeneration recaptures emitted heat and recycles it for additional energy, Cleveland said.
During manufacturing, the gas burned or steam emitted powers a heat recovery steam generator, which generates steam. The steam then drives a turbine that makes electricity for the plant.
Traditional 800MW power stations using a Rankine cycle generator can be 34-38% efficient, while a Brayton cycle genitor can be 20-30% efficient, Cleveland said listing examples. Using both systems, efficiency could improve over 54%.
As a result, cogeneration reduces demand for existing electricity, as well as demand growth, by deferring future utility expansions, he added.
Cogeneration also improves ambient air quality and lowers greenhouse gas emissions, Cleveland said.
The US Department of Energy (DOE) cites cogeneration as one of the most promising energy efficient technologies and is committed to investing nearly $25m (€19.5m) a year on related programs.
($1 = €0.78)
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