PLANT

Mapping wasted energy

Edmonton-area industrial sites could power 5,100 homes.


PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

There’s a place for emissions escaping from industrial stacks across Canada’s largest hydrocarbon processing region, according to a first-of-its-kind study by a partnership between CMC Research Institutes, Alberta Innovates –Technology Futures (AITF) and Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association (AIHA).

In an effort to better understand the energy flows and associated waste in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland region, the Community Integrated Energy Mapping Feasibility Study found that 97 megawatts could be applied towards other uses. That’s enough waste heat to power 5,100 homes and warm up another 15,200 in the province, while reducing carbon emissions by 151,000 tonnes.

Data was collected from 16 industrial firms in Strathcona County and Alberta’s Industrial Heartland near Edmonton, based on the assumption 33% of the total available wasted energy could be captured and repurposed.

The Heartland region in the northeast was selected because of its combination of industry and municipalities. It includes five municipal districts and 40 companies involved in oil and gas processing, petrochemicals and advanced manufacturing.

The study, conducted from May 2013 to June 2014 and funded by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), identified 300 megawatts of sensible waste energy, of which 64 megawatts comes from low pollutant exhaust stacks with temperatures between 230 and 1,100 degrees C; 85 megawatts from exhaust stacks with temperatures between 120 to 230 degrees C; and 151 megawatts from coolers and compressors with temperatures between 80 and 230 degrees C.

Integrating energy solutions
“The energy mapping concept is the first step in understanding the business case for energy integration solutions for Alberta,” says Craig Aumann, AITF environment and carbon management researcher and a lead author of the study.

Companies that participated in the study include Agrium, Air Liquide, Air Products, AltaSteel, ATCO Energy Solutions, Keyera Energy, North West Redwater Partnership, Oerlikon Metco (Canada) Inc., Plains Midstream, Rio Tinto Alcan, Shell Canada, Sherritt, Suncor Energy, Umicore, Veresen and Western Hydrogen.

This article appears in the April 2015 issue of PLANT.

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