UK heat pump could help factories reach net zero

Factories of the future may be able to slash their fuel use by adopting a new British technology which paves the way to zero carbon industrial heat processes. 

UK heat pump could help factories reach net zero

London start-up Futraheat has developed a ground-breaking high temperature heat pump – known as Greensteam – which can help industrial users recycle heat and radically reduce fuel use – delivering energy reductions of up to 90 percent.  

They have partnered with manufacturing integration specialists Projective to secure £149,000 Phase 1 funding from the BEIS Industrial Fuel Switching competition to investigate the feasibility of their product with leading food and pharma businesses. 

The project will identify potential partners for a potential £1.5 million Phase 2 where, with BEIS support, Futraheat and Projective will deliver two commercial scale 500kW Greensteam heat pumps for use in an industrial process, with two customers to be confirmed from Phase 1.  

Radically reduce fuel use 

It is hoped that Futraheat and Projective will secure in kind support for Phase 2, which could commence early next year, from one manufacturer in the food and drink sector and one from the pharmaceutical industry. 

Futraheat’s modular, Greensteam heat pump uses a new type of patented turbo compressor, known as TurboClaw®, which cost-effectively recovers low grade waste heat – a by-product of many industrial processes – and boost it up to 150 Centigrade, where it can be successfully reused onsite.  

One minute explainer video

Futraheat managing director Tom Taylor says: “Up to 70 per cent of all industrial energy demand is for heat in sectors including pharmaceutical and food manufacturing.  

“This heat is commonly provided as low-pressure steam, and in many cases it is used once and then released to the atmosphere as a waste stream.  

“Our ground-breaking Greensteam heat pump can recover much of this lost heat – as low as 70 degrees centigrade – and boost it cost-effectively it to the high temperatures that industrial customers require. This can deliver CO2 reductions of around 80-90 percent, rising to 100 percent if electricity from renewables is used. Even with a switch to electrical power, users can expect fuel cost savings of between 25 and 40 percent. 

“Our high temperature heat pumps will pay for themselves in two to three years and are a ‘no regrets’ technology which will remain relevant whatever future energy source is used,” Taylor says. 

Energy and climate change minister Greg Hands said: “As we accelerate the UK’s energy independence by boosting clean, home-grown, affordable energy, it’s crucial that our industries reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. 

 “This investment will help them to not only cut emissions, but also save money on energy bills, on top of supporting jobs by encouraging green innovation across in the UK.”