Energy Saviours

Article by Tom Baxter

Ways for operations and design engineers to boost efficiencies

ENERGY transformation and movement is at the heart of a chemical engineer’s training. Like many other commentators, I believe chemical engineers have a hugely significant role to play in decarbonising the environment and reducing other harmful gaseous emissions. I am not convinced by carbon capture; it might have a place but it would be bottom of my league table. At the top of my options list would be energy efficiency and low energy synthesis routes.

Major energy users

The main energy users in the US are shown in Figure 1.

A scan of the sectors clearly shows the significant chemicals and petrochemicals energy impact – the chemical engineer’s patch. 

Although not exhaustive, or indeed cutting edge, this article is aimed at reminding operations and design engineers about energy-saving opportunities associated with common process plant equipment.

Figure 1: Main US energy users (source,

Article by Tom Baxter

Senior Fellow, Chemical Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Aberdeen

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