Environmental protection goes global
December 2012 – Energy efficiency is one of the key issues for the future. For many years, Dürr has been developing products and systems that help its customers to reduce their energy consumption and production costs. Magnus Morsch, Sales Manager Exhaust Air Purification of the Dürr unit Clean Technology Systems, knows that environmental protection is of increasing importance for companies.
What is the significance of the automotive sector for the Dürr unit Clean Technology Systems?
Obviously, the automotive industry is THE traditional market for our company. Way back in the 1990s, this industry introduced lower-emission paint systems, for example high solid paints or water-based paints. As purification of the oven exhaust air emission was already in place at that time, the manufacturers did not need to take any further measures for emission reduction. For some years now, an increasing number of automotive paint shops have been equipped with our Ecopure exhaust air purification systems. The globalization of the automotive industry, in particular in Asia, and the carbon emissions trading established worldwide generate new possible applications. On the one hand, these opportunities are attributable to local statutory regulations, and on the other hand to manufacturers' global emission targets.
Keyword Asia: What is the situation in China, currently the fastest-growing automotive market?
A number of different emission limits are applicable in China. In some provinces, they are much stricter than even in Germany. In China, we are currently building the world's lowest-emission automotive factories. Here, the symbiosis of state-of-the-art Dürr technologies for energy-optimized, low-emission painting processes and air pollution control plays a key role and emphasizes the benefits of buying from a one-stop system provider. We consistently developed our exhaust air purification technology, adapting it for example to the new EcoDryScrubber, the spray booth with innovative dry separation. This compact system makes waste air purification plants very economical and significantly reduces the investment costs compared to conventional equipment.
Are the exhaust air purification systems used in other industries as well?
Our systems clean exhaust air and exhaust gas in the chemical, pharmaceutical, and food industry, for coating, impregnation, printing or painting processes, and in many other applications. Our system type VAM-RTO helps to reduce the discharge of harmful methane from coal mines. Also this industry is putting more emphasis on environmental protection now.
As you are saying, companies have to consider not only economical but also ecological aspects nowadays. Do you feel the effect of this development in your work?
The concept of preserving the environment, long established in Europe and particularly in Germany, is becoming more and more important also on the "new" markets. Environmental protection goes global, so to say. But not only statutory provisions make our customers invest in air pollution control technology. Companies from all industrial sectors give increasing significance to the balance between economy and ecology. This is emphasized by the latest programs of automotive OEMs for reduction of energy consumption and emissions.
Your Dürr unit is now also active on the field of energy efficiency. Can you give some examples?
Energy efficiency has always been a key priority for our air purification systems. Our new products are another step in this direction. Here, we focus primarily on the utilization of the potential of unused sources of energy, i.e. existing waste heat or residual heat, but we also look into the decentralized and highly efficient combustion of liquid and gaseous fuels. In the center of this development are the new ORC (Organic Rankine Cycle) technologies for converting waste heat to electricity, and micro gas turbine applications for converting fuels to electricity. Other examples for energy efficient products are latent heat accumulators, heat exchangers and heat pumps.
Where will the development in this sector go?
We are now tapping new application potential for these technologies. ORC, for example, is currently being developed for cogeneration or combined heat and power (CHP); this means that the residual heat will be available for use after the generation of electricity. This opens up new applications in the field of block heating stations and biomass incineration. From 2013, a new factory building at our Bietigheim site will offer test rigs for micro gas turbine components. We are going to see an extension of the application spectrum. In the near future, for example, it will be possible to supply greenhouses with heat, electricity, and CO2 for fertilization, or industrial estates with electricity and heat.