Futraheat seeks UK industrial partner to host £1m heat pump trial following funding boost

Article by Amanda Jasi

Tom Taylor, CEO of Futraheat, at the company headquarters in Surbiton, Surrey, UK

FUTRAHEAT, an industrial heat pump startup, has received £689,000 (US$871,000) from national funding body Innovate UK to build a 300 kW industrial heat pump to deliver low CO2, high-temperature heat to industry. It is now seeking a UK industry partner to host the pilot which will produce low-cost steam of up to 150°C – a sweet spot for many industries.

Tom Taylor, CEO of Futraheat, said: “Seventy per cent of all industrial energy demand is for heat, and a significant amount of this is for process heat in the 100–200°C range – usually delivered as high temperature steam in industries including pharmaceuticals, food, and brewing.”

The vast amount of this heat is used once and then wasted.

Futraheat’s technology recycles waste heat and boost it by up to 60°C. It is then delivered back to customers, cutting energy use by more than 80%. This radically reduces both CO2 emissions and energy bills, the startup said.

The company’s heat pumps are built around its patented TurboClaw compressor technology, which it says is a completely new type of turbo-compressor that is ideally suited to the typical heat demands of industry. It has a simple design and operates at low-rotational speed without oil to reduce production costs and improve the economic viability of heat recovery, allowing businesses to cost-effectively electrify their heat.

Futraheat is already testing this technology with the Greensteam 330 concept demonstrator at its Surbiton test facility in Surrey. It uses single-stage compression to deliver a 30°C temperature lift.

The Greensteam 360 pilot unit will be designed for mass manufacture and will extend temperature lift to 60°C with a two-stage TurboClaw design.

The company has put out a nationwide call for an early-mover industrial user to host the £1m trial. The 18-month project will demonstrate the pilot during 2024, paving the way for a commercial product.

Taylor said: “We are grateful to Innovate UK for their significant support and look forward to developing this product with an industry partner to deliver a product which not only pays for itself but delivers an easily adopted route to lower-carbon industry.”

He encouraged any interested industrial heat users to get in touch.

Innovate UK provided funding from its combined investor partnership programme, designed to stimulate research and development in micro through to medium enterprises, while accelerating equity investment into these companies to allow rapid growth through innovation.

The funding body’s contribution was combined with existing cash from clean tech investor Clean Growth Fund which invested £1.5m in Futraheat earlier this year.

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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