Özen, Zeynep Tutku; Taşkın, Hasan Basri; Sarı, İlyas Artunç; Arkan, Başar; Özçelik, Görkem; Fernández, Andrea; Muiños, Santiago; Pozzi, Matteo; Gordini, Angelo; Ferrari, Luca; Hercog, Jaroslaw; Kiedrzyńska, Aleksandra; Glot, Beata

The sustainability vision that gained importance with the European Green Deal, has also affected the Aluminum sector, which is considered as one of the most energy intensive industries in Europe. Starting from this vision, the European Union called for projects, leveraging the Horizon 2020 program, with the concept of using existing raw materials more efficiently and enabling the use of alternative raw materials within various industrial sectors. RETROFEED is one of the projects supported by European commission under Horizon 2020 program. Among the solutions under development for the aluminum sector there are: (1) the usage of alternative
raw materials in ASAS’ aluminum melting furnaces, (2) equipment retrofitting allowing the existing resources to be processed more energy-efficiently, and (3) the design of decision support strategies in order to use the existing raw materials for producing less waste material during production.
Strategical and operational decisions are made by the factory personnel, at times causing slowdown in production and/or inefficient use of resources. Within the scope of the project, a Decision Support System (DSS) will be developed integrating machine learning methods, for predicting billet quality according to different raw material types used in ASAŞ Aluminum Melting Furnaces, and a furnace Digital Twin to simulate furnace operations under different conditions for efficiency improvements and production simulation. By means of correlations and algorithms established as a result of the study, the output of the billet chemical composition, the furnace setpoints and the production plan can be adjusted according to different inputs in 6060 aluminum alloy, in accordance with the principles of zero waste and the new green deal guidelines.

Ana González-Espinosa,  Martina del Cerro, Jorge Barrio, Andrea Hernandez, Diego Redondo

Resource and Energy Intensive Industries (REIIs) require large quantities of material and energy inputs to meet the demands of their production processes. The environmental footprint resulting from these operations is therefore substantial and must be reduced to attain more sustainable business practices. RETROFEED is targeted at modifying core process equipment in REIIs to boost energy and material utilisation efficiencies, reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions and replace traditional feedstock with biobased and recycled alternatives.

Patricia Royo, Luis Acevedo, Álvaro J. Arnal, Maryori Diaz-Ramírez, Tatiana García-Armingol, Víctor J. Ferreira, Germán Ferreira, Ana M. López-Sabirón

Latent heat thermal energy storage (TES) contributes as an innovative technology solution to improve the overall system efficiency by recovering and storing industrial waste heat. To this end, phase-change material (PCM) selection is assisted through a decision-support system (DSS). A simplified tool based on the MATLAB® model, based on correlations among the most relevant system parameters, was developed to prove the feasibility of a cross-sectorial approach. The research work conducted a parametric analysis to assess the techno-economic performance of the PCM-TES solution under different working conditions and sectors

Sebastián Zapata, Bárbara Palacino, Juan Antonio Arzate, Martina del Cerro, Ana González-Espinosa, Clara Jarauta-Córdoba

The present study has contemplated the current feedstock to be partially or totally replaced and the alternative feedstock or internal waste to be considered according to quality requirements, market availability, and competitive pricing. While the ceramic sector has centred its effort on the re-use of internal process waste, the aluminium sector, has focused on the introduction of a wider range of recycled raw material. The cement sector, on the other hand, has explored prospective alternatives feedstock for energy production, among which biomass and refused derived fuels can be highlighted. The steel sector intends to curtail fossil fuel dependency through employing biochar and polymeric-derived residues, such as plastic and rubber. Finally, the agrochemical sector plans to partially replace their main phosphorous source by more sustainable materials, such as ashes derived from biomass combustion and organic wastes.

Patricia Royo, Luis Acevedo, Álvaro J. Arnal, Maryori Diaz-Ramírez, Tatiana García-Armingol, Víctor J. Ferreira, Germán Ferreira, Ana M. López-Sabirón

The VULKANO and RETROFEED projects implement and validate an advanced retrofitting solution to improve the overall efficiency and reduce emission in intensive sectors. On this route, a novel high-temperature Phase Change Materials (PCMs)-based thermal energy storage system (TES) for industrial furnaces is evaluated to increase the energy and environmental efficiency by recovering waste heat from the combustion gases. Design details such as preliminary sizing, costs and conceptual design configuration is presented as an example of integration at industrial scale, adapted to the plant operational requirements, by searching the best conceptual design and a proper selection of core materials. A multicriteria analysis is developed and applied to select the most profitable system configuration.