After its first year of execution, the TOP-REF project is progressing smoothly according to the established planning, and is already generating its first results.
Among the main outcomes achieved in the first period, there is the first set of Key Resources Indicators (KRIs), including an innovative exergy indicator.
The headlines KRIs are:
- Direct Primary Energy (J/FU): will help quantify the energy efficiency of existing operations and facilities, and will give information regarding the efficiency increase or decrease accomplished through changes made in the processes
- Material Efficiency (kg/FU), Gross Water Use (m3/FU) and Net Water Use (m3/FU): These indicators will give straightforward information about the reduction of material and water use and will help measure resource availability
- Resource Exergy indicator (J/FU): an innovative and overreaching indicator that allows measuring the quantity and quality of all consumed resources (material, energy and water).
The KRIs have been defined with a comprehensive scope over the concerns of the whole EU society: industry, policy makers, citizens, public authorities, etc.; by considering the KRIs impacts in the environment, production rates, economics and competiveness, according to very strict requirements:
- Easy to use and to understand
- Provide information to take well informed decisions at different at short and long term
- Easy to compare and to establish process performance goals
- Flexible and replicable to different sectors and processes.
At the end of the project the KRIs will be the basis of new standards or a supplement to existing standards to be used by EU stakeholders
Development of a novel methodology for audit and diagnosis
The developed indicators will help to set the basis for a proper and homogeneous methodology, to audit and diagnose the resource efficiency of the processes in intensive industries. This methodology, which is still being tested, has been already applied to the fertilizer industrial case.
In addition, other results addressing to establish the knowledge and methodology of the project have been achieved:
- Definition of the boundary conditions of the processes and excel questionnaire to gather industrial data.
- Benchmarking of current sectorial tools and indicators
- Synergies and common points between processes and sectors.
- Identification of process outputs’ constraints and requirements for each processes, including a KPA calculator for fertilizer process and thermal processes of DCI and Petrogalp
The 1st Project Periodic Report including TOP-REFs first results can be consulted at the publications section.