REFFIPLANT: developing new water consumption minimisation technologies

PIL is pleased to announce its involvement in REFFIPLANT, an EU-funded project aiming to identify new ways of more efficiently utilising available resources at integrated steelworks. The project will focus both on minimising the consumption of water, energy and metal feedstock inherent to steel production processes, as well as identifying innovative and improved means of treating and (where possible) recycling waste water, slag, sludge and dust.

Using advanced process integration and optimisation methodologies in combination with multi-criteria optimisation techniques, site-wide interactions between the various processes at play can be effectively considered – yielding integrated efficiency solutions for the industry.

The project involves seven partners across Europe: in Italy, the UK and Sweden – bringing together steel companies, research institutes as well as consultancy companies in all three countries.

Fig. 1 Water network diagram – WATER-int

Figure 1 Water network diagram – WATER-int

As a process integration specialist, PIL’s contribution to the project will centre on developing optimised water networks appropriate for the steel industry. Developed in close collaboration with the Centre for Process Integration at the University of Manchester, PIL’s water consumption minimisation technologies have been proven effective in the course of numerous water saving studies during the last decade.

This work has also led to a specialised software suite: WATER-int, which uses both pinch and mathematical techniques to model and optimise water networks in order to establish optimal water recycling strategies. With WATER-int, REFFIPLANT will as such benefit from a powerful modelling and optimisation tool. However, this is a two-way street: the project will itself also inform the future development of the software – enhancing its effectiveness and relevance to a wider range of end-use industries than has hitherto been the case.

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