Reducing product loss in a process boosts energy savings and output. Energy wastage is influenced by the stage of a process at which product losses occur. For example, product lost during transport in a mining operation has a small associated energy loss.
However, the loss of a final product when large amounts of energy have been expended represents a greater degree of waste. Losses can arise from sources including incorrect feedstock, spillage from conveyors, process upsets, breakdowns, temperature fluctuations and misuse of (or faulty) equipment.
Sectors and common applications
- Manufacturing – conveying, process upsets, breakdowns
- Mining – transport, process upsets, breakdowns
- Oil and gas – process upsets, breakdowns, feed and product specifications, venting and flaring
- Estimated energy savings in 2014 across the sectors are 99 PJ.
|1. Energy saving and cost achievement|
|1.1 Energy saving||10.5/15|
|1.2 Cost effectiveness||6/10|
|2. Market contexts|
|2.1 Sector energy savings||10/10|
|2.2 % of industry $ gross added value||8/10|
|3. Originality and innovation|
|4.1 General applicability||4/5|
|4.2 Ease of implementation||4/5|
|4.3 Ability to integrate external resources||4/5|
|5.2 Social awareness||1.8/3|
Anglo American Australia Ltd undertook optimisation of the mining process at Capcoal which translated to an increase in coal recovery and reduction of coal-product loss. A set of rules has been developed to highlight the actions necessary to reduce coal loss and contamination. Losses of around 9% have been assessed at Capcoal and a reduction of 7% per annum has been set.
Reducing product losses can limit the need for additional mining, in turn lowering energy consumption and emissions.
Woodside Petroleum Ltd reduced stripping flowrate at its Northern Endeavour site. The Northern Endeavour vessel utilises glycol to remove water from raw gas streams to prevent corrosion in piping and other critical systems. Once saturated, glycol is dehydrated via contact with stripping gas which must then be flared. The assessment suggested reducing the volume of stripping gas used in the dehydration process.
As stripping gas is flared, decreasing usage leads to decreases in facility flaring rates and therefore improved resource recovery. This opportunity required minimal changes to operation with a rapid return on investment.
Other companies which have identified product loss-reduction as a source of energy savings can be found in the EEO opportunities register on EEX and include:
For more information, see: