With its wide range of applications from construction to consumer goods, industrial processes, and cutting-edge technologies, the ceramics industry is an integral part of EU manufacturing. A key component of energy-intensive industries (EIIs) that include sectors like iron, steel, cement, chemicals, pulp and paper, ceramics also have a climate footprint and their production processes involve high costs.
According to a report by the Institute for European Studies of Vrije Universiteit Brussel, EIIs are responsible for about 15% of EU total direct greenhouse gas emissions. This is because several EIIs require high-temperature heat for processes that still rely on fossil fuels. Most ceramic sectors are also energy-intensive, as energy can account for up to 30% of their total production costs. The EU-funded ETEKINA project is addressing these issues by improving the energy performance of industrial processes.
The ongoing ETEKINA (HEAT PIPE TECHNOLOGY FOR THERMAL ENERGY RECOVERY IN INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS) project is scheduled to end in 2021. As noted on the project website, it aims to recover 57 70% of the waste heat stream in EIIs.