Energy efficiency has become a major issue for companies in all sectors, including the chemical industry. Indeed, the latter is facing a series of challenges such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, controlling energy costs and complying with current regulations.
In this context, the adoption of energy monitoring and management technologies is essential for chemical companies seeking to maintain their competitiveness in the marketplace while minimizing their environmental impact. This is where Busit Application Enablement Platform (Busit AEP) comes in, a solution for collecting, analyzing and interpreting energy data in order to obtain relevant information for strategic decision-making.
This thematic file will look at the energy challenges specific to the chemical industry, as well as possible approaches to reducing energy consumption and helping chemical companies achieve their energy efficiency targets.
The chemical industry is of vital importance to many facets of our society, from the production of chemicals to the materials used in various industrial applications. The industry encompasses the research, development, manufacture and distribution of a wide variety of chemical substances that form the basis of many products and processes essential to our daily lives.
The challenges facing the chemical industry are diverse and significant.
Here are some examples:
1. Strict regulations and standards: due to the nature of the chemicals manufactured, the chemical industry is closely regulated to ensure the safety of workers, consumers and the environment. Companies must comply with rigorous standards in terms of production, use of chemical substances and waste management.
2. Complexity of production processes: the manufacture of chemical products often involves complex and varied processes. The constant search for more efficient, economical and environmentally-friendly production methods is a constant challenge for this industry.
3. Innovation and competition: the chemical industry is constantly evolving, with new discoveries for chemical products. Companies must continually innovate to remain competitive on the global market and meet the changing needs of customer industries.
4. Sustainability and environmental impact: environmental concerns play a key role in the chemical industry. Companies are encouraged to reduce their ecological footprint by adopting more sustainable practices, minimizing waste and optimizing the use of resources.
Integrating energy efficiency into chemical industry processes offers significant benefits. By reducing energy consumption, companies not only lower their operating costs, but also strengthen their commitment to environmental sustainability.
What are the chemical industry’s main objectives?
1. Ensure product quality and safety: the chemical industry strives to ensure that the chemical products it manufactures are safe, of high quality and comply with regulatory standards. This implies constant vigilance to minimize the risks associated with the use and handling of these products.
2. Optimizing costs and profitability: reducing production costs and optimizing economic efficiency are priorities for the chemical industry. This maximizes profitability while offering customers affordable chemical products.
3. Encouraging innovation: innovation is central to the chemical industry. Companies are constantly seeking to develop new chemical substances, innovative manufacturing processes and novel fields of application to meet the ever-changing needs of customers.
4. Compliance with ethical and environmental standards: the chemical industry must comply with strict ethical standards in terms of worker safety, environmental protection and social responsibility. This also includes transparency in business practices and compliance with environmental regulations.
5. Agility in product development: the chemical industry needs to be able to develop new products rapidly to meet changing market needs and seize business opportunities.
The implementation of an energy efficiency system plays a crucial role in achieving these objectives within the chemical industry.
This system is an essential pillar of a global strategy, responding to growing sustainability and regulatory requirements.
Standards and regulations
In the chemical industry, standards play an essential role in establishing technical criteria to guarantee the reliability of production processes. At the same time, regulations impose specific obligations on players in this sector, aimed at harmonizing practices and ensuring the quality of chemical products.
In France, energy efficiency in the chemical industry is governed by a series of laws and regulations. These measures establish a framework for managing energy consumption, while encouraging the adoption of technologies and practices designed to reduce the chemical industry’s environmental impact.
Here’s an overview of the main regulations in force in France:
1. The Law on Energy Transition for Green Growth (LTECV): adopted in 2015, this law sets ambitious targets for reducing energy consumption. It aims to reduce the chemical industry’s consumption by 50% by 2050 compared with 2012. In addition, major companies in this sector are required to carry out an energy audit every 4 years, in accordance with this law.
2. The decree on the energy performance of tertiary buildings (2012): this decree also applies to chemical industry buildings. It requires owners of tertiary buildings, including those in the chemical industry, to carry out an energy performance diagnosis (DPE) every 10 years. This measure aims to improve the overall energy efficiency of industrial infrastructures.
3. ISO 50001 : this standard provides a structured framework for implementing an energy management system within companies. It is particularly relevant to the chemical industry, helping to improve energy efficiency and reduce the costs associated with energy consumption.
4. NF EN 16247 : specific to companies, this standard sets out the requirements for carrying out energy audits. It guides the chemical industry in implementing rigorous energy audits, helping to identify and implement significant improvements in energy efficiency.
The chemical industry is also subject to specific regulations on waste management, air quality, environmental protection and other crucial aspects. The aim of all these regulations is to promote the responsible and sustainable management of industrial activities in this sector.
European directives also have an impact on energy efficiency in the chemical industry.
Here are just a few examples:
1. Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU): this directive sets a target of reducing energy consumption by 20% by 2020. It requires large companies to carry out an energy audit every 4 years. In addition, it encourages the use of energy management systems linked to the ISO 50001 standard.
2. Horizon 2020″ program: this European program encourages research and innovation within the chemical industry. It encourages companies to develop more energy-efficient technologies and processes, helping to boost the sector’s competitiveness.
What types of energy consumption are measurable in the chemical industry?
The chemical industry consumes energy in a number of processes, including the manufacture, processing, packaging, storage and distribution of chemical products.
Here are some examples of the types of energy consumption that are measurable within the chemical industries:
1. Electrical energy: used to power manufacturing equipment, control systems, lighting, computers and other electronic devices.
2. Thermal energy: required for plant heating and cooling, drying processes, equipment sterilization, steam and hot water production.
3. Mechanical energy: required to operate production machines, pumps, compressors, conveyors and mechanical equipment.
4. Chemical energy: involved in chemical reactions and the processes involved in transforming raw materials into finished chemical products.
5. Pneumatic energy: used in pneumatic control systems and production processes requiring compressed air.
6. Hydraulic energy: used in hydraulic control systems and processes requiring pressurized water.
It is essential to measure energy consumption in order to identify potential sources of savings, implement measures to reduce energy consumption, cut costs and minimize environmental impact.
And the European market?
The European chemical industry market is one of the largest in the world.
Several factors are driving this market’s growth:
1.Essential energy management: chemical companies in Europe are placing increasing emphasis on energy efficiency in their operations. High energy costs and environmental concerns are driving investment in energy-efficient technologies and better energy management. This reduces costs and enhances environmental sustainability.
2. Quality assurance: quality assurance is fundamental for chemical products, ensuring their safety and effectiveness. European chemical companies comply with rigorous quality and safety standards, requiring major investments in R&D, production equipment and staff training.
3. Advances in the Internet of Things (IoT): IoT sensors make it possible to monitor energy consumption, optimize production processes, reduce environmental impact and improve sustainability.
4. Advanced analytical technologies: data analysis, like the Busit Application Enablement Platform (Busit AEP), identifies trends and anomalies. This understanding guides operational and strategic decisions for better control of production processes.
5. Regulatory impact: regulation plays a major role in the European chemical industry, setting strict standards for safety and quality. Regulatory developments, including energy efficiency and emissions reduction requirements, affect chemical companies in Europe, influencing their operations and strategies.
The chemical industry deploys a wide range of equipment for the production of chemicals and materials. Some of this equipment consumes more energy than others, not least because of its size and complexity.
In this context, solutions such as the Busit Application Enablement Platform (Busit AEP) become invaluable. These tools make it possible to analyze the data coming from these specific pieces of equipment. As a result, decision-makers and operational teams have the information they need to implement corrective and preventive measures and monitor production processes.
Here are some of the equipment frequently used in the chemical industry, which generate high energy consumption:
1. Reactors and mixers: used to mix chemical components and carry out reactions, this equipment requires large amounts of energy for heating, cooling and stirring.
2. Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems: ensuring temperature and humidity control in facilities, HVAC systems generate considerable energy consumption.
3. Dryers: used to remove moisture from chemicals, dryers require significant energy expenditure when heating or circulating hot air.
4. Cold rooms and freezers: these installations, necessary for storing chemicals at specific temperatures, consume a lot of energy to maintain storage conditions.
5. Water purification systems: water purification is essential in chemical processes. Purification devices require considerable energy to filter, remove impurities and sterilize water.
6. Sterilization equipment: for example, autoclaves, which eliminate micro-organisms from chemicals, require high energy consumption for heating water and steam.
7. Compressors: supplying compressed air to various equipment requiring a specific air pressure, compressors are characterized by high energy consumption.
8. Lighting systems : adequate lighting of chemical facilities to ensure employee safety and comfort entails significant energy consumption.
Energy management of this equipment is crucial to optimizing energy efficiency and reducing operating costs.
Busit Smart Energy
PERFORMANCE, SAVINGS, RESPONSABILITY AND ENERGY OPTIMIZATION
Busit Smart Energy is an energy intelligence solution designed to meet your company’s specific needs. Fully customizable, it offers you total control of your consumption, and Web and Smartphone applications with intuitive graphic interfaces for effective decision-making.
Thanks to its wide range of functions and services, this solution enables you to effectively monitor your resources, improve your operational performance and reduce your energy costs.
Busit Smart Energy natively integrates these components:
- A customizable energy and billing supervision solution in Web and Smartphone applications, with great flexibility in terms of information flow management and graphical interfaces.
- Comprehensive reporting: generate detailed reports to monitor and analyze your energy and financial data. Reporting features enable you to visualize your performance, identify trends and opportunities for improvement. Export your reports in the format of your choice (Word, PDF, Excel) for easy sharing with internal or external stakeholders.
- Real-time notifications and alerts, to keep you informed at all times. Be alerted immediately to incidents, breaches of predefined thresholds or any other anomaly. Our alert system enables you to react quickly to minimize disruption and maximize team efficiency through integrated response management.
Your data are in particular:
1. Used by Busit Smart Energy to correlate energy consumption with production status.
2. Visualized in real time in the form of dashboards to facilitate decision-making at a distance or in the field.
Busit Smart Energy applications and reports include detailed information on data collected and analysis results. They provide information on the context of each production unit, the useful data among those collected, the analysis methods, the results, and the action taken in the event of anomalies or other incidents being detected.
All these processes provided by the Busit Smart Energy application enable decision-makers and operational staff to take decisions on consumption, equipment operation, necessary measures and follow-up action to optimize production.
The energy efficiency plan
Here are the key steps for implementing an energy efficiency plan:
1. Initial energy audit: start with an energy audit to identify areas for improvement and establish the current consumption baseline.
2. Measurable objectives: define clear energy efficiency objectives, based on the initial audit and the company’s priorities.
3. Action plan: design an action plan to achieve the energy efficiency objectives. Identify measures to be implemented, set timetables and allocate budgets.
4. Implementation: apply planned improvement measures in line with chemical industry standards.
5. Monitoring and measurement: evaluate the results of implementing energy efficiency measures, identify successes and pinpoint opportunities for continuous improvement. Long-term monitoring ensures that savings are maintained.
6. Data analysis: use advanced data analysis platforms, such as Busit Application Enablement Platform (Busit AEP), to evaluate structures and detect changes.
7. Corrective action: take corrective action based on Busit AEP data analysis, developing a plan to implement it.
8. Communicate results: share consumption results and corrective actions with stakeholders, using reports, dashboards, statistics and indicators.
By following these steps, the chemical industry can improve its energy efficiency, reduce operating costs and minimize its environmental impact.
Busit® SAS provides ready-to-use solutions for equipment management and services, aimed at achieving more efficient governance and energy control in industries, buildings, and urban infrastructures.