Thursday, February 20, 2020

How can factories reduce fossil fuel?

Factory is an industrial site consisting of buildings where goods are processed from various kinds of raw materials into finished products. Humans use machines to make the manufactured goods. Conventional machines need fossil fuel to run. Climate change and global warming have raised awareness among factory owners about the importance of reducing their dependency on fossil fuels.

Regular Cleaning of Machines and Engines

  • Machines are often powered by internal combution engines. These engines can run efficiently if they are well maintained. The nozzle or carburator and the combustion chamber have to be cleaned regularly. Their moving parts need good lubrication.
  • Certain factories use boilers. There are combustion chambers in each boiler where fossil fuel is burned to generate heat. The heat is then transfered to pipes inside the boiler. Inside the boiler, there is fluid, usually water, that receives the heat that flows to other parts of the factory to dry certain products. If the combustion chamber and the surfaces of the pipes are not regularly cleaned, the heat transfer efficiency will be lower than the expected rate. We will need more fuel to run the boiler. There are a lot of methods that are used to clean boilers, i.e. mechanical and chemical ones. The mechanical cleaning method may involve manual cleaning and machine ones using metal brush, waterjet or dry ice blasting. When the tubes and combustion chamber of boilers have been properly cleaned from the built up dirts, salt, slag, ash, their operational efficiency will be restored again. The heat transfer efficiency will be improved. As a result, less fossil fuel will be spent when doing the same works.

Typical steam boiler for generating steam
Typical boiler for generating steam

Use of alternative fuel

Industrial boiler used fossil fuel such as coal, or diesel oil. This can be changed with the use of wood pellets. Because the burning process is different, the furnace will also be different. I suggest the use of agricultural wastes such as coconut shell. Used cooking oils from kitchens of restaurants and domestic households can be reprocessed to make alternative fuel for power generation. This has been done in Tokyo Japan.

The use of wood pellet to generate electricity
Cycle of Biomass Energy

Use Soft Starters

Some processing devices use large electric motors. They usually need higher electric current to start. Increased load and torque in electrical motor  cause sudden mechanical stress to the electric motors that shorten their service life. To overcome this problem, we can install soft starter. Unplug the electrical machines when they are not in use. When electrical machines are not being used, their electrical cords have to be unplug  from the utility source on the walls.

Use Renewable Energy

Factories often have large roofs that can be installed with solar panels. These panes will generate electricity that is needed to run some electrical machines in the factory or provide lightings for factories at night. A hybrid system that use solar panel and wind turbine can be an alternative solution for generating electrical energy that is needed by factories.
Also read:
Renewable Energy can Support our Life
We use Natural Resources Faster than What the Earth can Replenish
How to reduce dependency on fossil fuel
World Population and Over Exploitation of Natural Resources

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