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The current economic context is pushing companies from all economic sectors to reduce
their expenses. In the particular field of the chemical industries, the main components of the
budget are: raw materials, salaries and energy bill. Raw materials and salaries are difficult to
reduce without affecting the productivity or the quality of the product. On the other hand, the
chemical sector still has an important potential for developing energy efficiency projects, and
being more specifically, projects based on the Pinch Analysis.
The Company’s production plant can be associated with the situation depicted at the
previous paragraph. Some studies have already been carried out aiming to know which is the
best strategy to face the energetic equation. Finally, it has been decided that Pinch Analysis is
the solution that fits better the company.
During the Pinch Analysis the main production processes have been studied, modeling those
that represents the most important energy consumers. Thus it is possible to know where the
energy is consumed and how much. Data shows that the biggest demand of energy is during the
X reactions under distillation, these are followed by the distillation units consumptions.
Once the necessary information is obtained, it is possible to create the composite curves, in
order to study in a more visual way the possible heat recovery and which are the utilities that are
more interesting to be installed.
Last step consisted of realizing several energy efficiency proposals for the product A and
product B production processes. Some of them are related to vapor as utility and have the lowest
paybacks. These are followed by proposals based on direct heat exchange. Finally, there are
scenarios that take into account compressors use (e.g. heat pump and mechanical vapor
recompression) which have lower economic interest due to their high investment const.
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