Industry optimises continuously the processes it uses in order to adapt to the external economic and regulatory signals it receives. In the years to come, it will have to adapt to increasing energy prices and also to a reduction of CO2 emissions resulting from the allocation of quotas and the development of the emissions trading scheme.
In order to fulfil that goal, industry will use more efficient processes. A wide range of options is available:
• Better energy integration and limitation of energy losses (e.g. introduction of better thermal insulation).
• New generation, more efficient processes (e.g. better performing catalysts, membranes or more selective adsorbents).
• Introduction of energy recovery devices (heat exchangers, expanders).
• Online control systems for optimising the use of energy in a continuous way.
The development of future industrial processes will benefit from all the progress accomplished in the area of materials (composite materials, nanotechnologies, etc.), information technologies and biochemistry. The convergence of progress from these different areas will result in the development of new manufacturing processes which perform better and are less energy intensive.
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