Top 20 analysis helps cut energy use in Austrian animal feed company
Look closely and all kinds of savings can be found
- Top 20 analysis reveals energy-saving opportunities
- Adjusting compressed air pressure, for example, saves about 19 000 kWh in electricity a year
- Grain dust (byproduct) recommended for use as biogas fuel
Garant Tiernahrung GmbH is an animal feed producer located in the south of Austria with a staff of 32. The company carried out a Top 20 input-output analysis, which quantified flows of different materials and energy in the company. It improved internal accounting of these flows, which helped the company to better allocate non-product output costs and identify potential for resource efficiency within processes.
The Top 20 method has been widely used in clean production projects since the 1990s and recently became an integral part of the EDIT Value method, or 'Eco-innovation Diagnosis and Implementation Tool for enterprise Value', which was developed within the PRESOURCE project (www.presource.eu). EDIT Value, including updated Top 20, was piloted in 18 companies from six European countries.
The Top 20 analysis at Garant revealed where improvements were needed in natural gas consumption and where opportunities for heat recovery could be found. The analysis included an inspection of existing heat-exchanger efficiency (actual capacity of the recovered heat volume vs. design capacity) to recover heat from condensate.
A problem with the heat-recovery system control was identified and remedied, thanks to the analysis. Old motors were also replaced by new, more energy efficient ones following expert recommendations. A potential solution from a different sector (milling and mining) was identified and adapted for the specific requirements.
Other efforts to cut energy use resulted in savings as well. For example, by lowering the compressed air pressure, about 19 000 kWh less energy was consumed (a 15 % saving). It was also recommended that Garant Tiernahrung reuse grain dust, a byproduct, for biogas generation, which supplemented natural gas supplies and reduced residual waste at the same time.
Garant Tiernahrung GmbH, www.garant.co.at