Climate agreement and an included task for industry
It is now generally agreed that the worldwide emissions of greenhouse gasses (GHG’s) need to be reduced in significant amounts in the coming years, leading to zero net emissions in 2050. This will require considerable changes in the whole energy production and process industry. The energy sources will need to change from fossil to renewables, but many years will pass before these will be available in sufficient quantities. But there are other ways to reduce the emissions, which can be realized in a shorter timeframe and, as a bonus, also save costs.
Reduction of the emission of GHG’s can also be achieved by reducing, preferably eliminating, wasting, and increasing efficiency. Although there is some overlap between the two, it is easier to discuss these separately. So let’s start with the reduction of waste.
Wasting shows up in several different shapes. Of course, things like heat leaking away and products not fulfilling the quality requirements and discarded are apparent, but it hides in less clear situations. Mishap is an example. It leads to unplanned downtime, energy, and manpower to restore, possibly repair, the operational conditions and wasted products after the mishap. But also low-quality products or undesired byproducts when the working conditions deviate from the optimum settings. Mishaps are, in many cases, caused by faulty or inaccurate sensors/transmitters and by manual errors. The first source of problems can significantly be reduced by improving the data quality (e.g., described in another blog by data validation, verification, usage of historical data, etc.) and proper, including preventive maintenance. By applying this approach, the unplanned downtime can be reduced to virtually absent, the quality of the products guaranteed, and, as a bonus, reduced costs and GHG emissions.
The manual errors can be reduced by better staff training, including a deeper understanding of the process at hand. But it also includes aspects of ‘Artificial Intelligence’ in which the system ‘looks over the shoulder’ of the operators. A warning can be issued when a potential mishap is detected, up to an emergency shutdown to avoid more severe consequences.
Hint can support these aspects with AML Information Management and AML Emission Monitoring and thus help you reduce costs and the emission of GHG’s. Both will be attractive for your company and the environment.
All processes will have an efficiency below 100%. The question is always how much below and what can be done to improve the figure? The optimum conditions can be achieved and kept by ensuring that all the equipment/sensors/transmitters produce correct data. This requires thorough maintenance, verification, and calibration. By checking the quality of the data, including diagnostic data, and preventive maintenance, an optimum operation can be achieved, thus yielding the best possible product with the least downtime, wasting the least energy and feedstock. Hint can provide you with the tools for this, thus helping your company minimize GHG emissions and avoid public blame for excessive environmental pollution.