Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency

One of the key tasks of our age is to replace fossil resources with sustainable alternatives and to find solutions to global climate change. More economical usage of energy is part of this. Higher energy efficiency is possible particularly by means of advanced technology and low-emission management. At BYK in Wesel, following an energy-efficiency analysis the heating and ventilation systems were adapted to the operating hours, the emergency lighting was improved, and in one building a ventilation system with heat recovery was installed. By merging the two-part cooling system from production, which cost almost € 2 million, its load and efficiency could be increased and the number of pumps reduced. The remaining pumps have variable frequency drives. That means lower energy consumption as well as fewer maintenance and repair measures and lower costs and reduced use of chemicals for fighting algae. In parallel, the base temperature of the heat transfer oil was reduced by 50 degrees Celsius. When more heat is needed, electric heaters are used according to demand.

1,300 tons of CO2 saved

The measure, which will be amortized already in four years due to the lower energy consumption, decreased CO2 emissions by around 1,300 tons, equivalent to 12 percent of BYK’s entire emissions in Wesel. We are currently investigating whether an additional combined heat and power system is economically viable. A decision will be made in the course of 2013. A prerequisite is an alternative technology for exhaust air purification. The usual thermal afterburning process (TNV) is still being used with heat recovery. In conjunction with the modernized cooling water system, it would then be possible to reduce CO2 by 18 percent.

Other feasibility studies on energy efficiency are currently being conducted by ELANTAS Beck in Hamburg. They concern various measures, including optimization of the TNV, exhaust purification, and a possible combined heat and power system.

Small measures with long-term effects

ACTEGA DS has already replaced an energy-intensive pumping device (extruder) with a device that saves significantly more electricity, and another replacement is planned. In addition, a hall for forklifts was equipped with two energy-saving fast-action doors. ELANTAS PDG replaced a steam boiler from 1981 with a more efficient device, and at ELANTAS Zhuhai raw materials are preheated in a new thermal chamber that makes use of waste heat from production. ECKART Zhuhai replaced nine old sieves for “screening” pigments with modern ones which not only consume 50 percent less electricity but also are considerably quieter. The replacement of more sieves is planned.

The optimization of the TNV at ACTEGA Rhenania provides more noise protection as well as greater energy efficiency. In addition, employee rooms were modernized with regard to energy efficiency. Among other things, a new ventilation system with heat recovery was installed. The heating in the administration was also optimized and the boiler replaced. ELANTAS Beck in Hamburg is now utilizing the waste heat from a further air compressor.

The development at our two sites in India does not seem quite as successful at first glance. The last targets set were not reached. A closer look, however, reveals that this is not due to a lack of commitment, but to the fact that energy efficiency measures were implemented there at a very early stage. Between 1998 and 2012, we reduced the energy consumption by 50 percent. But with that kind of success rate, it will be harder and harder to improve the efficiency even more.

Since 2007, the energy consumption of ALTANA’s producing sites (including administration, labs, warehouses, etc.) has been recorded as a binding environmental key performance indicator. This includes direct energy consumption (Scope 1 – natural gas / crude oil) and indirect energy consumption (Scope 2 – electricity). During the reporting period, the energy savings amounted to 9.58 percent (Scope 1), and 26.39 percent (Scope 2), related to the gross value added.