24 MAY 2019

Tackling issues of waste heat

Industry is responsible for 32 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile in heavy industry between 20-50 per cent of energy input is lost as waste heat. This energy is already paid for by the factories in their energy bills and is purely and simply wasted via their chimneys by being ejected into the atmosphere.  
Even worse, is that, often supplementary parasitic energy is required to cool down fumes before filtering the flue gas. In other words, more energy and more money is spent to dispose of waste heat. One solution is called waste heat recovery (WHR).

If we consider waste heat only above 150°C, it represents roughly 2,600 TWh of energy per year worldwide, the equivalent of 31 times the UAE yearly energy demand, or the future annual production of 53 Barakah Nuclear Energy Plants. By recovering this “free” energy, we could potentially save about 1,800 million tonnes of CO2 per year worldwide to help in the fight against climate change. 

This concerns many industries such as the primary metal industry (iron, steel, or aluminium, etc.), but also the ceramic, glass, cement or petro-chemistry industries, that are all already present in the UAE. The idea is to install heat exchangers by way of the exhaust flue gas to recover thermal energy by cooling down the fumes. This thermal energy can be stored, transferred, and re-injected as process heat, or can power a heat engine to produce carbon-free electricity or cooling in the client’s industrial site.  

Seramic is a start-up company established in the Masdar City Free Zone in October 2018. Our ambition is to drive energy intensive industry towards a more sustainable future. We are developing a unique eco-economy model by enhancing energy efficiency in industrial processes, reducing carbon emissions, and recycling industrial waste into value-added products.  It is important to note that we are technology agnostic. Indeed, Seramic is performing a technical energy audit (TEA) on our clients’ sites to propose the best technology adapted to their needs. 

Then we offer turn-key solutions that preserve the industrial process integrity, using only proven equipment. We are across all stages of the project, from the TEA, to the proposal and design of the solution, until the commissioning. Finally, we take care of the operation & maintenance so the client can continue to focus on what they do best, while we concentrate on developing energy projects.  

Our business model includes the capital investment so the client doesn’t even have to invest one cent. Very often, the clients have already thought about energy efficiency solutions in their plants as they are effected by any energy commodity bill increase, which affects the cost of their final products and makes their factory less competitive. 

However, often these companies and businesses prefer to invest in what they already know rather than investing in something they are not familiar with, which is energy. Seramic and its partners solve this issue by investing for the client and the resulting savings are then shared. It’s a win-win-win situation. We are developing a profitable eco-business, the client saves money on its monthly energy bill, and at the same time we are protecting the environment by decarbonizing heavy industry.

As an example, we are developing a first project in Abu Dhabi where the client will save about 10 per cent of its yearly carbon emissions and we will produce up to 50 per cent of its electricity consumption usually taken from the grid, to be replaced by the WHR system. 

For further information you can send an email to contact@seramic.eco or visit our website at www.seramic.eco.

By Dr. Nicolas Calvet / Co-founder & CEO of Seramic

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26 MAY 2019

Saving lives with pink bags

Sanku received the Zayed Sustainability Prize at ADSW 2019 in the Food category

Globally, an estimated 155 million children aged under five are suffering from the effects of poor nutrition, The impact of this ‘hidden hunger’ in developing countries is often stunted physical and mental development. That in turn holds back the potential of those individuals and the social and economic development of whole countries. 

Felix Brooks-church, cofounder and CEO of Sanku, is on the path to end malnutrition using a creative flour bag business model, already reaching close to two million people across Africa.
Felix first saw the negative impact of hidden hunger more than a decade ago whilst volunteering in Cambodia, running an education and health center for at-risk street children. Though able to help those children suffering from malnutrition, he grew frustrated that this was just a band-aid to the underlying problem. 

Felix wanted to find a way to prevent children from being born into communities where their life chances are limited simply due to a low nutrient diet. “16,000 children die everyday from preventable sicknesses. This must stop!” said Felix. He has dedicated his life since to that goal.  

This led him to look at building a basic machine to automate the process of adding a cocktail of key vitamin and minerals to the cereal grains as they are being milled into flour at the village level. Felix took over the engineering in 2010, and started designing what is now called the ‘dosifier’ for small-scale fortification. 

By 2011 this dosifier machine was ready for field stress testing, and so Felix found himself bumping along a poorly maintained dirt road, up and down mountains for six hours to get to the tiny secluded village of Sankhu in Nepal. He had tears in his eyes when the initial machine was installed in the local mill, switched on and fully worked for the first time. It was a eureka moment, and the village celebrated.   

The success in Nepal attracted international attention - and offers of funding - encouraging the team to move to East Africa in 2013. Felix set up a new operation in Tanzania, where over one-third of child deaths are due to undernutrition.

The initial response to the dosifier was extremely positive and that attracted the attention of then Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete, who came to see it in 2014. Felix explained what he was trying to achieve to President Kikwete whilst he inspected the dosifier. After a nervous pause, the President said, “can you build one of these for every mill in the country?”

It was a great result but created a daunting challenge for Felix and his team to scale their venture to the over 3000 small mills spread across Tanzania, a country four times the size of the United Kingdom. 

Felix knew he had to professionalise the operation in Tanzania to have any chance of grasping the opportunity and thus cofounded – Sanku – a non-profit organization named in honour of the tiny Nepali village of Sankhu where the adventure had begun.

Over the next three years he installed 150 dosifiers, reaching half a million people, and worked hard to improve the economics. 

Firstly, Felix had to find a supplier for the key vitamins and nutrients to add to the flour, and so he partnered up with Mühlenchemie, one of the leading suppliers of micronutrient premixes in Africa.

Felix also partnered with Vodafone to add a cellular module to each dosifier machine so that one Sanku manager could now monitor up to 100 rural mills remotely using an app on their smartphone, significantly reducing Sanku’s operating costs, enabling them to reach millions.   

But the biggest breakthrough was the launching of Sanku’s Pink Bag Model. Recognizing that small millers could not afford the extra cost of fortification, Felix developed a business model where Sanku could provide bulk purchased empty flour bags – branded in bright pink for ease of monitoring – plus the nutrients for the same overall price that Tanzanian millers had previously paid for just their empty flour bags alone, affectively neutralizing the extra cost of fortification. Miller compliance skyrocketed, and now almost 400 millers have since joined the pink bag program. 

The pink bag idea has been transformative to the Sanku model and has enabled the charitable business – still only 20 people – to expand its operations to cover five East African countries, and a clear path to expand reach to 100 million people by 2025. 

What started with a single mill and a few hundred villagers in the hills outside Kathmandu, Felix now has ambitious, but increasingly realistic plans to change the lives of a few hundred million people globally. “I will never forget where we came from, and that memorable afternoon in Sankhu village seven years ago,” said Felix. “It keeps my vision firmly fixed on the future, a future bright pink and without hidden hunger.”

To learn more and find out how you can support this work, please visit www.sanku.com  

By Felix Brooks-church / Cofounding President & CEO, Sanku

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26 MAY 2019

Moving to a low-carbon future – why banks and companies need to step up

The clock is ticking on climate change. We currently have more greenhouse gases in our atmosphere than at any time in human history. 

As a result of our increasing economic activity, scientists estimate that, under one potential scenario, average temperatures could rise by 6 degrees Celsius by the end of this century. The consequences of that would be catastrophic for humanity. And the most alarming thing is that scientists call this scenario ‘business-as-usual’. 

But this does not have to be the outcome. The term ‘business-as-usual’ itself implies that there must be an ‘unusual’ alternative that leads to a different outcome. We at Standard Chartered are committed to helping our clients, communities, stakeholders and ourselves achieve the climate goals, as set out in the Paris Agreement, to keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

We announced last year that we would develop a methodology to “measure, manage and ultimately reduce” the CO2 emissions from the activities we finance. We believe this is critical to enable us to meet these climate goals and support our clients through the low-carbon transition.

We can do this, but it won’t be easy. As a global bank, we operate in over 60 markets, many of which have fast-growing, increasingly prosperous economies which bring with them growing demand for energy, food, water and goods. We can help our communities meet that growing demand in a sustainable way, ensuring those markets have access to the capital they need to fund reliable, cleaner energy. 

We must also help them to improve their resilience to the potential impacts of climate change, of which they are often on the frontline. At Standard Chartered we believe we have both an obligation – and a unique opportunity – to help countries meet these challenges without compromising our collective climate goals. 

But like action on climate change itself, measuring emissions is complex and requires action from multiple parties. This is a challenge we cannot solve alone. Today, we are making public the work we have done to date to build our methodology. We want to use this to drive the conversation, to accelerate progress and to prevent duplicated efforts. As we see it, success depends on joint efforts among financial institutions to help collectively and continually refine this methodology, as well as widespread company disclosures of accurate and meaningful emissions data. 

With the objective of refining our framework, we’re collaborating with four other banks – BBVA, BNP Paribas, Société Générale and ING – through the Katowice Commitment to develop the methodologies and tools the banking sector needs to assess our own contribution to climate goals. We are making some progress, but with more collaborators, we can do more. 

We recognise that getting robust, verifiable data in many of our markets may take some time, but we are not waiting. We’ve joined forces with 2 Degrees Investing Initiative (2DII), a climate think tank to pilot a software tool which provides emissions assessments, the actions and findings of which can be found in our emissions white paper. Our pilot has shown a lot of promise, and with the help of other banks and stakeholders, we can make more headway and find answers to the challenges we have identified: getting the right data, validating it and scaling it up to cover 100 per cent of our portfolio.

Of course, none of our actions will matter without the efforts of companies across our markets. Disclosures are critical, to show current progress in the transition to a low-carbon future, and help us and other banks understand where capital is needed to complete this transition. There is much we can do in working with clients to assess, and improve, their emissions profiles. 

Disclosures make perfect business sense – the Paris Agreement is expected to open up climate investment opportunities of USD23 trillion in emerging markets between now and 2030, according to the IFC. Much of this investment flow will be guided by and dependent on emissions data. When the private sector recognises its business case, disclosures on climate-related matters can become the new ‘business-as-usual’.

The stakes cannot be overstated. To ensure that the flow of capital reaches the places where it is needed most to achieve climate goals, the world must work together and fast. ‘Business-as-usual’ as we know it is no longer acceptable; let’s all come together to help ensure the sustainability of our planet. 

By Bill Winters, Group CEO / Group CEO, Standard Chartered

Related-Insights

24 MAY 2019

Tackling issues of waste heat

Industry is responsible for 32 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile in heavy industry between 20-50 per cent of energy input is lost as waste heat. This energy is already paid for by the factories in their energy bills and is purely and simply wasted via their chimneys by being ejected into the atmosphere.  
Even worse, is that, often supplementary parasitic energy is required to cool down fumes before filtering the flue gas. In other words, more energy and more money is spent to dispose of waste heat. One solution is called waste heat recovery (WHR).

If we consider waste heat only above 150°C, it represents roughly 2,600 TWh of energy per year worldwide, the equivalent of 31 times the UAE yearly energy demand, or the future annual production of 53 Barakah Nuclear Energy Plants. By recovering this “free” energy, we could potentially save about 1,800 million tonnes of CO2 per year worldwide to help in the fight against climate change. 

This concerns many industries such as the primary metal industry (iron, steel, or aluminium, etc.), but also the ceramic, glass, cement or petro-chemistry industries, that are all already present in the UAE. The idea is to install heat exchangers by way of the exhaust flue gas to recover thermal energy by cooling down the fumes. This thermal energy can be stored, transferred, and re-injected as process heat, or can power a heat engine to produce carbon-free electricity or cooling in the client’s industrial site.  

Seramic is a start-up company established in the Masdar City Free Zone in October 2018. Our ambition is to drive energy intensive industry towards a more sustainable future. We are developing a unique eco-economy model by enhancing energy efficiency in industrial processes, reducing carbon emissions, and recycling industrial waste into value-added products.  It is important to note that we are technology agnostic. Indeed, Seramic is performing a technical energy audit (TEA) on our clients’ sites to propose the best technology adapted to their needs. 

Then we offer turn-key solutions that preserve the industrial process integrity, using only proven equipment. We are across all stages of the project, from the TEA, to the proposal and design of the solution, until the commissioning. Finally, we take care of the operation & maintenance so the client can continue to focus on what they do best, while we concentrate on developing energy projects.  

Our business model includes the capital investment so the client doesn’t even have to invest one cent. Very often, the clients have already thought about energy efficiency solutions in their plants as they are effected by any energy commodity bill increase, which affects the cost of their final products and makes their factory less competitive. 

However, often these companies and businesses prefer to invest in what they already know rather than investing in something they are not familiar with, which is energy. Seramic and its partners solve this issue by investing for the client and the resulting savings are then shared. It’s a win-win-win situation. We are developing a profitable eco-business, the client saves money on its monthly energy bill, and at the same time we are protecting the environment by decarbonizing heavy industry.

As an example, we are developing a first project in Abu Dhabi where the client will save about 10 per cent of its yearly carbon emissions and we will produce up to 50 per cent of its electricity consumption usually taken from the grid, to be replaced by the WHR system. 

For further information you can send an email to contact@seramic.eco or visit our website at www.seramic.eco.

By Dr. Nicolas Calvet / Co-founder & CEO of Seramic