Innovation That Matters

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Generating power from heavy industry waste heat

Agriculture & Energy

Sites can use the clean electricity or sell it back to the grid

Spotted: Heavy industry has a long way to go if it’s going to even come close to net zero by 2050. Currently responsible for about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, the sector still needs to cut its carbon footprint by 93 per cent. Reducing inefficiencies and waste could go a long way in helping the industry get there and US startup Kanin Energy has seen an opportunity to do just that. 

The development company creates end-to-end turnkey solutions for various sectors within heavy industry, including steel, cement, chemicals, and hydrogen, covering everything from project financing to installation and maintenance. Kanin curates solutions that are best suited to the given industry and its requirements. 

One of Kanin Energy’s key offerings is its waste-heat-to-power (WHP) system. Industrial processes are highly energy-intensive and often generate large volumes of waste heat – instead of letting that extra energy be lost, Kanin uses it to create electricity. Kanin does this with a range of technologies, including Organic Rankine Cycles (ORC) and Steam Rankine Cycles (SRC), which essentially use heat to drive a turbine that generates clean electricity. 

Kanin funds the installation of these systems, providing ‘energy-as-a-service’ to its customers. Once the technology is up and running and generating electricity, users can then use this power themselves in place of fossil fuels or sell the energy back to the grid. This means they can decarbonise their processes and make extra income. According to the company, the average project can avoid or reduce CO2 emissions by 35,000 metric tonnes per year. 

There are other innovators who’ve recognised the potential of waste heat, including one startup that uses computer processes to heat homes and an engine that transforms heat into clean electricity

Written By: Archie Cox and Matilda Cox




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