Decarbonising process heat: Path to greener industrial future
The world is facing an urgent climate crisis, and the industrial sector is a significant contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. Industries are responsible for around 24% of Global greenhouse gas emissions. This includes emissions from energy Production, manufacturing, and other Industrial Processes.
Process heat, which is used for a variety of industrial processes such as heating, drying, and distillation, accounts for a significant portion of these emissions. Decarbonizing process heat is crucial in achieving a greener industrial future.
The use of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas for process heat is a significant source of carbon emissions. According to the International Energy Agency, in 2022, industries around the world consumed 11,890 million tons of oil equivalent (MTOE) of fossil fuels, with 8,841 MTOE coming from oil, 1,945 MTOE from natural gas, and 1,104 MTOE from coal. This accounted for around 36% of the world’s total energy consumption. The continued reliance on fossil fuels for process heat is unsustainable and contributes to the ongoing climate crisis.
The effects of Climate change are already being felt around the world, with more frequent and severe weather events including rising sea levels, and wild fires around the world. The continued use of fossil fuels for process heat will only exacerbate these problems. Inaction on decarbonising process heat will have a dire consequences for future generations, including increased Carbon emission, loss of biodiversity and economic disruption.
The solution to the problem of process heat emissions is to decarbonize the industrial sector. This can be achieved through a variety of means such as using renewable energy sources, energy efficiency measures and carbon capture technologies. However, according to the International Energy Agency, in 2018, the global share of renewable energy used for process heat in the industry sector was only 2.5%. This is significantly lower than the share of renewable energy used for electricity generation, which was 17.4%. Therefore, share of renewables in Industries need to scale rapidly to achieve net-zero Goals of Industries and countries.
Renewable energy sources such as Solar thermal, geothermal, and biomass can be used to generate process heat, significantly reducing carbon emissions. Energy efficiency measures such as waste heat recovery, heat pumps, and thermal storage can also play a crucial role in reducing process heat emissions. Carbon capture technologies can be used to capture and store carbon emissions from process heat, reducing the overall carbon footprint of the industrial sector.
How Blockchain can play active role in this?
Blockchain technology can facilitate the trading of carbon emissions saved through the use of renewables, energy efficiency, and carbon capture in the industrial sector by converting them into carbon tokens.
A system for measuring and verifying the carbon emissions saved is established through smart meters and other monitoring devices that track and record energy usage and carbon emissions in real-time, which are stored on a blockchain platform.
These verified emissions can be converted into carbon tokens that can be bought and sold on a blockchain-based carbon trading platform, providing a transparent, secure and efficient way of trading carbon credits, and can also be automated by using smart contracts.
Trading Carbon emissions saved through the use of renewables, energy efficiency, and carbon capture in the form of carbon tokens on a blockchain platform can provide several economic benefits to the Industries and accelerate the energy transition by creating new revenue, new markets for carbon credits, promoting transparency, and enabling real-time monitoring and tracking, which can also help in compliance with regulators and making the industries more accountable for their Carbon emissions.
In conclusion, decarbonizing process heat is crucial in achieving a greener industrial future and mitigating the effects of climate change. By transitioning to renewable energy sources, implementing energy efficiency measures, and utilizing carbon capture technologies, the industrial sector can significantly reduce its carbon emissions and play a crucial role in the fight against climate change.