The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) is now funding the OekoProOf project - "Intelligent economic & ecological resource efficiency management using a digital process passport". The project deals with a new approach for industrial companies, in which resources can be transparently and efficiently allocated to processes based on demand through intelligent energy monitoring and management. The aim is to develop an IT system that can be used across all industries. The August-Wilhelm Scheer Institute, Wegener Härtetechnik GmbH, KRAFTBLOCK GmbH, and the Institute for Operations and Technology Management at the Environmental Campus Birkenfeld of Trier University will start the project in January 2022 with a duration of three years.
Rising prices for scarce resources, the urgency for climate protection, and growing environmental awareness accelerate the importance of sustainable management in all sectors. Therefore, the economic use of finite resources and their intelligent reuse are becoming indispensable.
For this reason, industrial companies of all sizes, in addition to growing costs due to the rising CO₂ price, are under pressure to meet the growing demands of society and their customers about sustainability. The challenge for companies is to consider both their financial requirements of energy and resource efficiency and the economic and ecological wishes and goals of customers and society. Since the wants of customers and the needs of companies can vary, intelligent, a needs-based adaptation of energy and resource efficiency is necessary.
The OekoProOf project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection to the tune of EUR 1,223,777.96, addresses these challenges and looks for suitable solutions. "In the project, we are developing an IT system for this purpose, the digital process passport, which transparently allocates resource consumption and efficiency in the form of waste heat and electricity efficiency to processes," explains Dr. Dirk Werth, scientific director and managing director of the August-Wilhelm Scheer Institute. Together with Wegener Härtetechnik GmbH, the system is being directly applied and tested in practice. Dr. Simon Hechler of Wegener Härtetechnik GmbH: "With this project, we are creating the conditions for energy-intensive companies in Germany to remain internationally competitive, create required transparency and meet the challenges of climate change."
In increasing resource efficiencies, the project is also investigating the potential of thermal utilization of waste heat. The aim of this is also to derive generally applicable solutions for other branches of industry. The recycling of waste heat makes it possible to reduce energy requirements and, consequently, CO₂ emissions. This solves a critical problem for the industry. Until now, the use of (high-temperature) waste heat has played a subordinate role in the energy transition and the transformation of the industrial energy supply. "In the future, the solution developed in the project will be secured and tested in nearby energy-intensive industrial sectors such as textile processing, automotive parts suppliers, polymer production, etc.," says Prof. Dr. Henrik te Heesen from the Institute for Operations and Technology Management at the Environmental Campus Birkenfeld, adding, "In addition, the OekoProOf project fits into the energy policy objectives of the German government."
↦ Link to the projekt website
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