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£1.5m to Reduce Industrial Energy Demand in UK

last modified Aug 13, 2016 11:03 AM
Dr Laura Torrente

The Department has been recently awarded an EPSRC funded project aimed at minimising primary-energy use in the UK industry, led by Imperial College London (Dr Markides) in collaboration with Brunel and Birmingham universities and over 20 companies including EDF Energy, DRD Power, Sainsbury, Sabic Americas and Synthomer (

This 4-year multidisciplinary project will be focused on specific advancements to energy-conversion technologies with integrated energy-storage capabilities, including

  1. heat-to-power with organic Rankine cycle (ORC) devices; and
  2. heat-to-cooling with absorption refrigeration (AR) devices.

These technological solutions are capable of recovering and utilising thermal energy from a diverse range of sources in industrial applications. The heat input can come from highly efficient distributed combined heat and power (CHP) units, conventional or renewable sources (solar, geothermal, biomass/gas), or be wasted from industrial processes. With regards to the latter, at least 17% of all UK industrial energy-use is estimated as being wasted as heat, of which only 17% is considered economically recoverable with currently available technology. The successful implementation of these technologies will increase the potential for waste-heat utilisation by a factor of 3.5, close to 60% recovery.

The project brings together contributions from all aspects of the multiscale chain molecules-components-technologies-systems. Specifically, Dr Torrente’s group will enable the design and development of new additives to working fluids for enhanced heat transfer predicted by computational methodologies, using the range of manufacturing technologies being developed during her EPSRC Fellowship (

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