steam system

18 Emerging Technologies and 180 Commercialized Technologies and Measures for Energy and Water Efficiency, and GHG Emissions Reduction in the Textile Industry

The textile industry uses large amounts of electricity, fuel, and water, with corresponding greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and contaminated effluent.  With regard to energy use, the textile industry’s share of fuel and electricity use within the total final energy use of any one country depends on the structure of the textile industry in that country. For instance, electricity is the dominant energy source for yarn spinning whereas fuels are the major energy source for textile wet processing.

In addition to using substantial energy, textile manufacturing uses a large amount of water, particularly for wet processing of materials, and produces a significant volume of contaminated effluent. Conserving water and mitigating water pollution will also be part of the industry’s strategy to make its production processes more environmentally friendly, particularly in parts of the world where water is scarce.

In 2016, the world’s population was 7.4 billion; this number is expected to grow to 9.5 billion by 2050. The bulk of this growth will take place in underdeveloped and developing countries. As the economy in these countries improves, residents will have more purchasing power; as a result, per-capita consumption of goods, including textiles, will increase. In short, future population and economic growth will stimulate rapid increases in textile production and consumption, which, in turn, will drive significant increases in the textile industry’s absolute energy use, water use, and carbon dioxide (CO2) and other environmentally harmful emissions.

Having the higher education background in both textile technology engineering and energy efficiency technologies, I wrote a report on commercially available energy-efficiency technologies and measures for the textile industry several years ago. This report included a review of over 180 commercialized energy efficiency technologies and measures for the textile industry based on case-studies around the world. In addition to conserving energy, some of the technologies and measures presented also conserve water. The report can be downloaded from this Link (Hasanbeigi 2010).

Several other reports also document the application of commercialized technologies. However, today, given the projected continuing increase in absolute textile production, future reductions (e.g., by 2030 or 2050) in absolute energy use and CO2 emissions will require further innovation in this industry. Innovations will likely include development of different processes and materials for textile production or technologies that can economically capture and store the industry’s CO2 emissions. The development of these emerging technologies and their deployment in the market will be a key factor in the textile industry’s mid- and long-term climate change mitigation strategies.

However, information is scarce and scattered regarding emerging or advanced energy-efficiency and low-carbon technologies for the textile industry that have not yet been commercialized. That was why a few years ago, I wrote another report that consolidated available information on 18 emerging technologies for the textile industry with the goal of giving engineers, researchers, investors, textile companies, policy makers, and other interested parties easy access to a well-structured database of information on this topic. Table below shows the list of the technologies covered.

Table. Emerging energy-efficiency, water efficiency, and GHG emissions reduction technologies for the textile industry (Hasanbeigi 2015)

A few years ago when I conducted several day-long training on energy efficiency in the textile industry for hundreds of engineers and manager of textile companies in China, one major feedback we received, which did not surprise me, was that they did not know about most of the commercialized and emerging technologies we introduced. Engineers and manager are busy with day-to-day routine which rarely involves energy efficiency improvement.  

Also, you can check out the Energy Efficiency Assessment and Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Tool for the Textile Industry (EAGER Textile), which we developed a few years ago. EAGER Textile tool allows users to conduct a simple techno-economic analysis to evaluate the impact of selected energy efficiency measures in a textile plant by choosing the measures that they would likely introduce in a facility, or would like to evaluate for potential use.

Don't forget to Follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook to get the latest about our new blog posts, projects, and publications.

Some of our related publications are:

1.     Hasanbeigi, Ali; Price, Lynn; (2015). A Technical Review of Emerging Technologies for Energy and Water Efficiency and Pollution Reduction in the Textile Industry. Journal of Cleaner Production. DOI 10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.02.079.

2.     Hasanbeigi, Ali; Hasanabadi, Abdollah; Abdolrazaghi, Mohamad, (2012). Energy Intensity Analysis for Five Major Sub-Sectors of the Textile Industry. Journal of Cleaner Production 23 (2012) 186-194

3.     Hasanbeigi, Ali; Price, Lynn (2012). A Review of Energy Use and Energy Efficiency Technologies for the Textile Industry. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 16 (2012) 3648– 3665.


·      Hasanbeigi, Ali (2013). Emerging Technologies for an Energy-Efficient, Water-Efficient, and Low-Pollution Textile Industry. Berkeley, CA: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. LBNL-6510E

·      Hasanbeigi, Ali, (2010). Energy Efficiency Improvement Opportunities for the Textile Industry. Berkeley, CA: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. LBNL-3970E

Moving Beyond Equipment and to System Efficiency: Massive Energy Efficiency Potential in Industrial Steam Systems in China

Author: Ali Hasanbeigi, Ph.D.

China is responsible for nearly 20% of global energy use and 25% of global energy-related CO2 emissions. The industrial sector dominates the country’s total energy consumption, accounting for about 70% of primary energy use and also country’s CO2 emissions. For these reasons, the development path of China’s industrial sector will greatly affect future energy demand and dynamics of not only China, but the entire world.

Sources: NBS, China Energy Statistical Yearbooks 2015. EIA, 2015

Sources: NBS, China Energy Statistical Yearbooks 2015. EIA, 2015

Steam is used extensively as a means of delivering energy to industrial processes. On average, industrial boiler and steam systems account for around 30% of manufacturing industry energy use worldwide. There exists a significant potential for energy efficiency improvement in steam systems; however, this potential is largely unrealized. A major barrier to effective policymaking, and to more global acceptance of the energy efficiency potential of steam systems, is the lack of a transparent methodology for quantifying steam system energy efficiency potential based on sufficient data to document the magnitude and cost-effectiveness of these energy savings by country and by region.

Source: U.S. DOE/AMO, 2012

Source: U.S. DOE/AMO, 2012

In 2013-2014, I led a UNIDO-funded study to develop and apply a steam system energy efficiency cost curve modeling framework to quantify the energy saving potential and associated costs of implementation of an array of boiler and steam system optimization measures. The developed steam systems energy efficiency cost curve modeling framework was used to evaluate the energy efficiency potential of coal-fired boiler (around 83% of industrial boilers) and steam systems in China’s industrial sector. Nine energy-efficiency technologies and measures for steam systems are analyzed.

The study found that total cost-effective (i.e. the cost of saving a unit of energy is lower than purchasing a unit of energy) and technically feasible fuel savings potential in industrial coal-fired steam systems in China in 2012 was 1,687 PJ and 2,047 PJ, respectively. These account for 23% and 28% of the total fuel used in industrial coal-fired steam systems in China in that year, respectively. The CO2 emission reduction potential associated with the cost-effective and total technical potential is equal to 165.82 MtCO2 and 201.23 MtCO2, respectively. By comparison, the calculated technical fuel saving potential for industrial coal-fired steam systems in China is approximately 9% of the total coal plus coke used in Chinese manufacturing in 2012 and is greater than the total primary energy use of over 160 countries in the world in 2010.

Several sensitivity analyses were conducted, their policy implications discussed, and uncertainties and limitations of this study were presented in the report we published. Our report is published by UNIDO and can be downloaded from here. Please feel free to contact me if you have any question.

Don't forget to follow us on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter to get the latest about our new blog posts, projects, and publications.