Being Eco-Friendly in the Process Industry

Eco Friendly image

What it means to be Eco-friendly in today’s Process


It’s the buzz term in product design and manufacture today, and rightly so, because the drive to become Eco-friendly is fuelled not only by profit margins but a very real concern for protecting the environment and developing sustainable power sources and solutions. Read on to see how products have adapted within the process industry...

What is the definition of eco-friendly?

Eco friendly literally means earth-friendly or not harmful to the environment. In recent years, we’ve been bombarded with products that promise a whole host of environmental credentials. It’s also applicable to green living practices, like renewables, and products that are designed to limit or prevent water, land and air pollution.

What standards does an ‘eco-friendly’ product have to meet?

Eco friendly products generally have to adhere to stringent standards. In Europe, the European Union’s Eco-design Directive was introduced to reduce greenhouse emissions from energy using products.

According to the British Standards Institution (BSI): “The amount of energy consumed by a product during its lifetime is strongly influenced at the design phase. Eco-design is an approach to product design that takes into account the likely environmental impacts of a product throughout its entire lifecycle e.g. during procurement, design, manufacture, use and disposal.”

In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Design for the Environment” (DfE) label signifies safer, more environmentally friendly products. They say: “When you see the DfE logo on a product it means that the DfE scientific review team has screened each ingredient for potential human health and environmental effects and that—based on currently available information, EPA predictive models, and expert judgment—the product contains only those ingredients that pose the least concern among chemicals in their class.”

Environmentally friendly products from Process Industry manufacturers

There’s an abundance of environmentally friendly products that have rolled out of Process Industry plants. Let’s take a closer look at a few in particular…

ASCO low-power solenoid valves

The Asco Numatics low-power version of its Series 327 Ex d solenoid valve is designed for critical applications in the chemical, petrochemical and oil and gas industries.

Historically, a typical solenoid valve deployed in such an environment and application would consume upwards of 20 Watts per unit. With the new design 327 operating with a much lower power consumption of only 2 Watts per unit, losses are minimised and operational running costs are greatly reduced. As a direct consequence, there is much less heat generated leading to extended operational life and of course – enhanced safety.

SmartAct -1 100Nm Low Energy Actuator WITH FAILSAFE

British manufacturers, SACO manufactures the ground-breaking SmartAct®-1 electric actuator, which takes full advantage of the dramatic reduction in energy that their patented RIFT Driven technology enables.

They claim that this “creates an electric actuator with the lowest energy consumption available in the market. In comparison tests with other competitor products the SmartAct®-1 requires only 25% or less of the energy input to do the same output work.”

They add: “Taking in to account the cost of energy today this gives the SmartAct®-1 a 'lifetime cost' that is the lowest available from any manufacturer.”

Norgren’s IVAC Pneumatic Cylinder

Norgren claim the IVAC Pneumatic Cylinder reduces energy consumption by up to 50%. They claim it’s “a patented, weight and space optimised pneumatic cylinder that saves energy, time and cost, and can be easily fitted to new and existing installations.”

Video: Norgren IVAC Actuators – Technical Tips

So how can they substantiate those impressive energy reduction claims? Well, the patented design and technology reduces CO2 emissions and KW hours, plus the consolidation of parts and innovative design minimises dead volume – the IVAC only uses air in the cylinder, and not the air in the tubing. This reduces energy consumption considerably and reduced air means the cost per mm of stroke is significantly reduced.

The PX Pressure Exchanger from Energy Recovery Inc

Industrial processes such as desalination, natural gas treatment, power generation, and chemical processing are energy intensive and expensive. Energy Recovery’s award-winning PX devices make these high pressure fluid flow processes more sustainable by salvaging and reusing 60% of the energy previously lost, saving energy, money and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Installed and used on seven continents, Energy Recovery technology boasts a 90% market share in the desalination industry.

So there you have it, just a few of the energy efficient products that have crossed our radar. Are there any other eco friendly Process Industry products that could turn us green? We’d love to hear some of your recommendations.

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