Environment

In a challenging world market, businesses are being required to analyse not simply economic success but also view their wider socioeconomic impact. More and more regulations and standards such as ISO 14001, require companies to be certified as having an environmental management system. Continuous improvement and evidence of how practically a company is reducing its environmental impact are needed.

What is the impact of steam use on our environment?

Steam is an efficient and effective energy medium which is used in industry worldwide to produce everything, from food to chemicals, to paper and building materials.
Additionally, most electric power is produced by steam-electric power plants, which produce about 86% of all electric generation. Coal-fuelled power plants currently fuel 37% of global electricity, with gas and renewables fuelling 24% each, with Nuclear 11% and oil 4%. 

Approximate CO2 emission values for various fuels:
* Gas per kWh – 0.21kg CO2 equivalent
* Coal per kWh – 0.3 -0.5kg CO2 equivalent (dependent upon grade)
* Fuel oil per kWh – 0.29kg CO2 equivalent 

Who needs steam?

Various industry sectors, such as food processing, brewing & beverage, dairy, pharmaceuticals, chemicals & building materials, require steam in their processes. Consumers don’t often realise it but the products we use daily, often go through processes utilising high temperatures. 

You might start the day with a cup of coffee. The coffee beans are roasted by the producer – and this roasting is typically done by using steam to heat up the roasting oven. If you pour some milk into your coffee – the pasteurisation process needed to stabilise the milk and some juices requires steam, too. The paper cup you drink from has been manufactured from a paper plant using steam heated rollers. The plastic lining in your paper cup, the produce of a chemical process derived from a cracking tower in a petrochemical refinery – it all needs steam. We use a lot of industrially processed or manufactured products all the time and we hardly ever think about the energy needed to make them.

Who are the manufacturers and how could they reduce their energy consumption?

Typically, the factories producing the goods mentioned above are relatively small. There is no “dairy of the UK” or “beer brewery of Germany”, but many smaller, more local facilities. Yet they do represent a vast amount of the energy we consume. According to the German Energy Agency report, process heat is the most energy intensive industrial application covering 64% of total final energy consumption. Of this total, it is estimated that process steam (between 100 and 500 °C) accounts for 21% of industrial final energy consumption in the EU.

How the ECOFLOW Venturi orifice steam trap can reduce your environmental impact

The CO2 equivalent emissions level of steam generation depends upon; fuel type and composition, boiler efficiency, feedwater temperature and steam pressure. We can see from above that the combustion of fossil fuels generates significant carbon emissions. According to the ASME Steam Tables, 2,500 kJ of energy is required to produce 1 kg of 1,000 kPa saturated steam. This equates to 722 KwH per tonne of steam generated.  Assuming gas is the consumable fuel this produces a CO2 equivalent emissions value of 151 kg/h.  In practice an industrial user may produce several tonnes of steam per hour, multiplying the emissions accordingly. 

Depending upon the steam system all or some of the steam generated will be returned to the boiler house through the steam traps. The percentage returned will reflect the total efficiency of the system. If the system is closed (i.e. all the condensate is returned via steam traps to the boiler) and perfectly efficient, we would expect a 100% return of the collected condensate. Unfortunately, system losses mean that steam is lost throughout the process. 
One of the main contributory factors for steam losses is failed mechanical steam traps. The manufacturers themselves estimate that up to 10% of all installed mechanical traps fail on an annual basis. Experience and practical testing have shown that venturi orifice traps reduce steam losses from 10 – 30% compared to conventional mechanical traps. 

In the above example, a plant generating 5 tonnes of steam at 10 bar, operating 60 hours a week could reduce carbon emissions between 200 – 600 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per annum.

Check out your potential savings – contact us to discuss your requirements today. 

The trap benefits from:

Improved production efficiency without downtime due to failed steam traps

Elimination of expensive steam leaks

Reduction in maintenance - with a full ten year performance guarantee on all Venturi orifice steam traps

Increasingly the first choice for blue chip and forward thinking businesses.