The Fachverband Metalltechnische Industrie, opens an external URL in a new window (FMTI) and the Institute of Energy Systems and Thermodynamics at the TU Wien - Research Unit of Industrial Energy Systems - have initiated the Breaking Carbon Neutral research project. Based on a tender issued by the FMTI to the participating companies, several energy systems were analysed with regard to energy requirements, energy sources and the complexity of the processes in the direction of complete decarbonization. In close cooperation with the selected company Tiroler Rohre, opens an external URL in a new window, we are addressing the challenge of making the energy-intensive industrial environment more sustainable.

The focus is on the development of emission-free energy systems for the metal processing industry, which is currently responsible for around 20 % of global CO2 emissions. The project is characterized by an innovative approach: We define different scenarios based on forecasts for energy and component prices as well as regulatory framework conditions. We use computer-aided methods to model the existing energy system and select process alternatives that do not cause any emissions. Using mathematical programming, we calculate both an energy-minimal and a fully decarbonized target energy system. The next step is to evaluate the existing framework conditions in terms of available capital and process reliability. Based on this, trajectories are calculated as to how the previously defined target energy system can be implemented in practice. The sensitivity analysis of the trajectories is a crucial step in evaluating the robustness and cost optimality of the calculated scenarios under price fluctuations and regulatory changes.

We are confident that this research work will make a significant contribution to the gradual decarbonization of the energy-intensive industry.

Image of stacked blue PVC pipes

© Tiroler Rohre

Bird's eye view of an industrial plant with photovoltaic system covering the entire roof

© Tiroler Rohre

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Breaking Carbon Neutral

  1. Kasper, L.; Birkelbach, F.; Schwarzmayr, P.; Steindl, G.; Ramsauer, D.; Hofmann, R. Toward a Practical Digital Twin Platform Tailored to the Requirements of Industrial Energy Systems. Appl. Sci. 2022, 12, 6981.
  2. Schwarzmayr, P.; Birkelbach, F.; Kasper, L.; Hofmann, R. Development of a digital twin platform for industrial energy systems. Applied Energy Symposium: MIT A+B. 2022. Cambridge, USA.
  3. Schwarzmayr, P., Birkelbach, F., Walter, H., & Hofmann, R. (2023). Standby efficiency and thermocline degradation of a packed bed thermal energy storage: An experimental study. Applied Energy, 337, Article 120917
  4. Kasper, L.; Schwarzmayr, P.; Birkelbach, F.; Javernik, F.; Schwaiger, M.; Hofmann, R. (2024) A digital twin-based adaptive optimization approach applied to waste heat recovery in green steel production: Development and experimental investigation. Applied Energy, 353, Article 122192
  5. Schwarzmayr, P.; Birkelbach, F.; Walter, H.; Hofmann, R. (2023) Study on the Standby Characteristics of a Packed Bed Thermal Energy Storage: Experimental Results and Model Based Parameter Optimization. Proceedings of the ASME Power Applied R&D 2023, POWER2023-108578
  6. Schwarzmayr, P.; Birkelbach, F.; Walter, H.; Javernik, F.; Schwaiger, M.; Hofmann, R. (2024) Packed bed thermal energy storage for waste heat recovery in the iron and steel industry: A cold model study on powder hold-up and pressure drop. Journal of Energy Storage, 75, Article 109735