Keeping steam at 300°C
Insulating a bio steam pipe to create sustainable energy
Groningen Seaports, a port owner in the Netherlands, wants to create a local network of steam pipelines to help connect businesses. The goal is to capture heat, which is generated as a by-product in nearby production plants. As a first step, a bio steam pipe in an industrial park in Farmsum has been designed to transport steam to nearby end-user Nouryon (formerly an AkzoNobel chemical specialities plant).
The steam flows through an above-the-ground pipeline with a length of 2.7 kilometres, so keeping the heat inside the pipe with minimal heat loss is essential to deliver on energy efficiency and sustainability.
For the latest extension to the pipeline, Groningen Seaports chose Prorox, a ROCKWOOL insulation system, which consists of a double layer of stone wool pipe sections, with 250mm thick insulation.
ROCKWOOL stone wool works as a highly efficient insulation material to continually limit heat loss and guarantee the efficient operation of the process. By using stone wool, steam which enters the pipeline at a temperature of around 300°C arrives at the purchaser Nouryon with a temperature loss of only a few degrees. Stone wool is sound absorbent, so noise arising from the speed of the steam is inaudible. Since the pipe sections are insulated with stone wool, they also have great water repellent properties that mitigate the risk of deterioration.
This project is a testament to using sustainable solutions to transform waste heat into a sustainable and safe supply of energy. And it’s all made possible due to the excellent thermal, acoustic and robust properties of natural stone wool.