ETEKINA project: success story in the aluminium foundry sector

Launched in 2017, ETEKINA is a European project focused on waste heat recovery in energy-intensive industries. It is based on the development of a new type of heat pipe heat exchanger (HPHE) capable of providing a solution to the challenge of corrosive exhaust gases and high temperatures. In 2021, 3 prototypes were installed in steel, ceramic and aluminium plants.

In the case of aluminium, tests were carried out at Fagor Ederlan (Arrasate), a leading global automotive supply specialist and one of the largest foundries in Spain. The system was installed, with the collaboration of Insertec, in a heat treatment furnace. The results of this first experiment in the aluminium sector are more than promising with a recovery of 43% of the waste heat stream.

The importance of heat recovery in the aluminium industry
Waste heat recovery is a common challenge in industries requiring high temperatures. In the aluminium sector, current circumstances have made it a necessity in the face of unprecedented increases in energy costs: it is estimated to cover 22-29% of the costs of primary aluminium producers.

Initiatives such as ETEKINA are key to guarantee the viability of smelters, but also to move towards a less polluting industry. Fargor Ederlan, for example, could reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 110 tons per year thanks to ETEKINA's HPHE exchanger.

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