Griffith Hack Clean & Sustainable Technologies

Chinese company protects waste heat recovery process by Justin Blows

In yet another sign that the Peoples Republic of China is taking clean and sustainable technologies seriously, according to this report, the growth rate of cleantech patent registrations in emerging market economies, particularly China, is 545%.  The growth rate is measured for registrations over the period 2004-2007 compared to 1998-2001.  The world wide growth rate, for comparison, is 120%.

A great example is China Energy Recovery, Inc.  Its expertise is industrial waste heat recovery, otherwise known as energy recycling.  As reported here, it has protected a waste heat recovery process for the cement manufacturing industry.  With its massive growth and levels of construction, cement manufacture is a major industry in China.

Cement manufacturing uses huge amounts of energy and is a major source of green house gases. About 2% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions have been attributed to burning fossil fuels for the manufacture of cement.  Cement is made by heating limestone with small quantities of other materials (such as clay) to 1450°C in a kiln.  That’s a very high temperature – more than enough to make large amounts of steam for a steam turbine generator or for use in another industrial process.

The waste heat captured by, for example, China Energy Recovery’s technology can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency.

View of the interior of a cement kiln

View of the interior of a cement kiln

Waste heat recovery is a big deal.  Apparently, it is estimated that if all the energy currently wasted by all the U.S. industrial facilities could be recovered, it could produce power equivalent to 20% of the U.S. electricity generation capacity.  As such, it represents one of the ‘low hanging fruit’ in the quest for carbon abatement, and a massive opportunity for those that have protected their technology.

Justin Blows


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