May 22, 2024


Imagination at work

Developing a better producing, less polluting kiln – Information Centre – Research & Innovation

The ceramics industry is dependable for emitting a sizeable quantity of greenhouse gases. To aid decrease the industry’s sizeable carbon footprint, a group of EU-funded scientists and builders made use of technologies, simulations, and testing to make a far more economical kiln. The consequence: a condition-of-the-art kiln outlined by optimised energy intake, reduced emissions, and decreased functioning fees.


© malp #204874730, 2020

The ceramics industry performs a sizeable position in the EU economic system, driven by 17 000 organizations, using about 240 000 individuals, and creating almost EUR 30 billion in earnings. Nonetheless, the industry is also a big consumer of energy. In reality, creating just a single tonne of ceramic tiles needs 1.sixty seven MWh of energy.

Most of this energy (fifty five%) is made use of through the firing system, the place clay and glazes are introduced to a quite superior temperature. This heating is commonly done with all-natural gasoline which, as a fossil gas, usually means the system provides a sizeable quantity of greenhouse gases. As these gases are intensely regulated, it will come as no shock that the ceramics industry has the most installations in the EU’s Emission Trading Method (ETS).  

The essential to decreasing this carbon footprint is to make a far more economical kiln – which is just what the EU-funded Desire project has done.

“To change the evolution of kilns towards a far more sustainable paradigm, the Desire project created, developed, and demonstrated a radically enhanced architecture for ceramic industrial furnaces,” suggests Gabriele Frignani, Head of Utilized Exploration at Sacmi, an Italy-based mostly multinational ceramics corporation, and Desire project coordinator. “The consequence is a new, condition-of-the-art kiln outlined by optimised energy intake, reduced emissions, and decreased functioning fees.”  

Screening through technologies

Historically, the industry has lowered polluting emissions by installing a bag filter in the kiln’s exhaust chimney. While this does continue to keep emission degrees just beneath the lawful threshold, it doesn’t avoid pollutants this kind of as nitrogen and sulphur oxides from escaping into the air. This shortcoming, together with the reality that satisfactory emission degrees are established to be lowered, intended a better remedy was desired.

To fix this challenge, the Desire project turned to technologies. The group developed and examined a program-based mostly simulation model able of analysing all the thermal processes occurring in a kiln, which includes preheating, firing, and cooling. Working with this technique, it was not only achievable to promptly identify spots of inefficiency, but also to digitally take a look at different modifications and options.

“These simulations help save time and fees through the improvement period as they promptly emphasize which streets show promise and which ones almost certainly lead to a useless stop,” points out Frignani. “This tactic is especially beneficial in this sort of analysis project the place, owing to time and price range constraints, a precise roadmap is essential.” 

For illustration, through the simulation exercises, it could be expected that changing large turbines with micro-turbines together the output line would develop a customised degree of electricity for a specified equipment. Not only does this do away with the use (and waste) of excess energy, it also cuts down the time desired to restore the thermal conditions soon after electrical blackouts and aids decrease a kiln’s carbon footprint.

A better type of kiln

Irrespective of the advantages, using simulation tools does have its boundaries. For instance, they can not forecast irrespective of whether a variation in the firing system will negatively have an impact on the material alone. To fill this hole, the project performed industrial-degree testing, implementing its digital model to a serious output kiln.
“These assessments conclusively showed that with our program, ceramic organizations can get serious-time checking and the skill to intervene right as desired to increase the efficiency of an individual period,” points out Frignani. “The web consequence is a kiln able of creating better even though consuming and polluting significantly less.”

Frignani notes that, owing to the time and expense essential, this sort of analysis and improvement has develop into almost extremely hard for individual organizations to finance – especially within just a aggressive sector this kind of as ceramics. “Research tasks like Desire will play an progressively significant position in acquiring the technologies and know-how that will help the eco-friendly options of tomorrow,” he concludes.