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Minas Basin installs thermal energy technology

Thermal Energy's condensing heat recovery technology, FLU-ACE, will be installed on the pocket vent fan exhaust of the paper machine, so that heat energy being lost to the atmosphere will be recovered...

October 1, 2005  By Pulp & Paper Canada

Thermal Energy’s condensing heat recovery technology, FLU-ACE, will be installed on the pocket vent fan exhaust of the paper machine, so that heat energy being lost to the atmosphere will be recovered and used to heat water streams in the mill. The heat will then be transferred to mill systems through heat exchangers. The primary, major uses of the heat will be plant and air makeup heating, process water heating, boiler makeup preheating, preheating chemistry water and decal showers and condensate.

The technology will recover 100,638 mmBtu of heat per year, which will subsequently replace heat that is currently being generated in the steam boiler system. Johnson Controls is responsible for the construction, operation, monitoring and maintenance of the system, whereas Thermal Energy International is responsible for the design and supply of the heat recovery technology.

The project will conserve oil through a combination of more efficient utilization of current generation and reduced generation requirements by recovering and using heat that was previously lost to the atmosphere. Three of the heat application points involve direct oil savings equal to 59% of the total. Two others involve oil and machine speed benefits equal to 25% of the total.


“This type of a heat recovery system is obviously best used in processes where a lot of heat is used,” Steve Thomas, manager of marketing communications at Johnson Controls explained. “The technology we’re using can basically replace a smokestack, which will save energy and converts waste heat into process heat. With this type of a process, between 10-15% of the cost can be saved. In pulp and paper mills, where energy costs account for a large portion of your overall costs, this translates to millions of dollars,” Thomas delineated. The project, which ran into the multi-million dollar range, is expected to pay for itself within two years.

Tim Angus, president and CEO of Ottawa-based Thermal Energy International views the installation of the technology as being beneficial for pulp and paper mills, not only from a financial standpoint, but from an environmental one as well. “Pulp and paper is using a tremendous amount of fuel for their processes. Our FLU-ACE technology is extremely effective at capturing the heat that’s being exhausted from dryers or boilers and creating hot water, which we can put back into their papermaking process. The secondary motivator for people to install our technology — for some it’s the first, is the fact that it also removes a lot of pollution from these plants, either through significantly reducing the fuel consumption or by scrubbing the exhaust when applied to boilers.”

The project has already been engineered, priced, and installation has begun. The heat recovery technology is being provided by Thermal Energy International, while Johnson Controls has guaranteed to deliver a predetermined volume of heat each year, which greatly minimizes the risk for Minas Basin.

“Minas Basin is proud to be the first pulp and paper operation in North America to implement this innovative technology,” said Scott Travers, company president and CEO. “We were the first mill in Nova Scotia and one of the first in Canada to totally comply with all Federal pulp and paper effluent regulations and one of the first to use 100% recycled fibre in production. Now we are adding another first in reducing energy utilization and further reducing emissions and greenhouse gases,” he added.

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