From tile and tableware to sanitaryware, Europe makes one-quarter of the world’s ceramics, representing €30 billion (approximately $39.8 billion) a year and employing 240,000 people. Downsides include the industry’s thirst for thermal energy, vast energy waste and CO2 emissions. According to results from a £5 million (~ $6.6 million) project, however, a heat pipe exchanger installed at a working tile factory in Pavullo, Italy, has resulted in large-scale savings on energy, costs and emissions.
The H2020 DREAM project (Design for Resource and Energy efficiency in cerAMic kilns) added new industrial heat pipes to a new-generation roller kiln at Mirage Granito Ceramico S.p.A. Monitoring over six months has shown that the heat pipe system has helped cut emissions by 205.5 Mt a year and saved £28,000 (~ $37,000) a year.