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Doe, industry work together for energy efficiency.

Rising energy costs pose a concern all across industry, which consumes one-third or more of all the energy used in the United States. But did you know that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) partners with industries like pulp and paper to help implement energy-efficiency strategies and technologies that can save energy, improve the bottom line and enhance productivity and global competitiveness?

DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and its Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) seek to improve U.S. industry's energy intensity through a coordinated program of research and development, validation, and dissemination of energy efficiency technologies and operating practices. ITP partners with industry, its equipment manufacturers and other stakeholders to reduce U.S. reliance on foreign energy sources, reduce environmental impacts, increase the use of renewable energy sources, and improve industrial competitiveness.

This year marks a milestone in the collaborative relationship between ITP and the forest products industry--2004 is the 10th anniversary of Agenda 2020, which began in 1994 as a partnership between ITP and the forest products industry to accelerate the research, development, and deployment of new technologies.

Agenda 2020 has since taken on a life of its own. Under the guidance of the American Forest & Paper Association's Chief Technology Officers Committee, Agenda 2020 has grown to include partnerships with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and additional technology focus areas. The Industrial Technologies Program continues to strongly support the partnership, and is currently cost-sharing 40 R & D projects that have direct applicability to the forest products industry.


Much work remains to be done in energy efficiency. In 1994 the forest products industry consumed more than 3.1 quads of energy. This was about 14% of domestic manufacturing energy use, making the forest products industry the third largest industrial energy consumer, behind petroleum and chemicals.

Within the industry itself, the pulp and paper sector uses most of the energy--around 2.7 quads. The lumber and wood products sector uses around 0.5 quads. Overall, the industry has made good use of wood residues and byproducts (black liquor) and self-generates a large portion of its energy needs. According to the 1998 Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey (MECS), the lumber and wood products industry produced more than 60% of its own energy by burning wood residues from tree harvesting and sawmill operations. In 1998, the pulp and paper industry self-generated about 50% of its energy needs.

The achievement is impressive. However, the pulp and paper industry still spent more than US$ 6 billion for energy in 1998, roughly 2.4% of the value of shipments that year, and remains a large consumer of fossil fuels.

By working with ITP and its array of BestPractices energy efficiency resources, industry is learning it can save money, increase production, reduce harmful emissions and enhance global competitiveness.

As an example of the energy-saving potential in energy systems, Procter & Gamble invested US$ 545,000 to improve compressed air systems at its paper products mill in Mehoopany, Pennsylvania, USA. When the improvement project was completed in 2002, the mill shut down a 450-horsepower compressor while still maintaining adequate pressure to supply its end-use applications. The project saved 7.6 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and US$ 304,000/yr in compressed air energy costs, along with US$ 5000 in yearly maintenance costs. The project, undertaken with an ITP Allied Partner, Air Science Engineering Inc., Chandler, Arizona, paid for itself in less than two years.


The array of ITP software tools, case studies, training opportunities and publications is too extensive to list here in detail. (For a complete list of available material, visit or call the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Information Center at 1 877 337-3463.) But of all the material and strategies available to industry, three activities are receiving widespread use: the Industrial Energy Savers Web site, qualified specialist training, and plant-wide assessments.

Energy Savers: Industrial manufacturers seeking to gain a competitive edge have a new resource full of rapid solutions for cutting energy costs. DOE recently launched a Web site, Energy Savers for Industry Plant Managers and Engineers. This site, located at, offers a wide array of tips, practices, information, and software tools that can produce immediate energy savings in industrial facilities.

Qualified Specialist training: Qualified Specialists are industry professionals who have completed training in the use of specific assessment and analysis software tools developed by DOE in conjunction with industry. The Specialists apply these tools to help industry identify ways to improve system efficiency. Qualified Specialists have been trained to use one or more of the software tools. Training includes 2 to 2.5-days of classroom instruction, hands-on measurement and a written exam.

Thomas Dunn, a long-time professional with Weyerhaeuser Co., is the forest products industry's first Qualified Specialist. He is working to incorporate ITP BestPractices techniques into a broad corporate energy management strategy within Weyerhaeuser.

In addition to Qualified Specialist training, Awareness and End-User training are also available. These programs help train plant managers to identify energy-savings opportunities in specific utility systems or across an entire facility. A full listing of available training may be found on the ITP's calendar at

Plant-wide assessments: Plant-wide energy assessments investigate overall energy use in industrial facilities--which can account for 10% or more of an industry's total operating costs. These assessments highlight opportunities for best energy management practices for industry, including the adoption of new, efficient technologies. Industry can expect to see a 10-15% savings in energy costs by implementing a variety of rapid-payback strategies and technologies offered by ITP and identified in a plant-wide assessment.

DOE has awarded 43 plant-wide assessments in six rounds of solicitations. The forest products industry is well represented, with awards to Boise Cascade, Caraustar, Weyerhaeuser (two plants), Georgia-Pacific (two plants), Inland, Blue Heron, and Appleton. Here are some highlights.

Inland Paperboard and Packaging: The plant-wide assessment identified multiple energy-saving opportunities, including replacing two mechanical drive steam turbines with variable speed motor drives, reducing water and steam use at the paper machine and support systems, and rebalancing the steam distribution system. In 2003, Inland invested approximately US$ 5 million to implement five projects with cost savings of greater than US$ 5 million/yr. Since the plant-wide assessment was conducted in 2000, Inland has initiated a major capital improvement program that calls for more than US$ 25 million in energy-related equipment (new waste fuel boiler) over the next 18 months. The US$ 30 million investment will produce savings of US$ 15.6 million.

Caraustar Recycled Paperboard: Several steam and motor system projects were identified at the company's Rittman, Ohio, plant. These included motor procurement and efficiency improvements, backpressure steam turbine generators, installation of variable speed drives on boiler feed pumps, stack heat recovery to vapor absorption systems, heat recovery and steam pipe insulation. Caraustar has made a US$ 3 million capital investment that yielded US$ 1.7 million in annual cost savings, including 15 million kWh a year in electricity savings and 431,500 MMBtu in fuel savings. Since the initial Rittman plant assessment, 15 additional Caraustar plants are implementing similar energy saving projects.

Georgia-Pacific Kraft and Tissue: Two water reduction and eight heat recovery projects were identified at the company's Palatka, Florida plant. The projects included demineralized water heating, white water heating, vapor take-off and reflux condenser rework. The projects reduced water use by 2100 gallons/min and identified cogeneration opportunities. The assessment identified 8 major projects that would yield more than 700,000 MMBtu a year of steam savings. The mill has already implemented two of the eight projects; they are water-reduction related projects at a cost of more than US$ 2 million, and are expected to yield energy cost savings of $1 million.


Collaboration describes the approach ITP takes in working with U.S. industry. ITP's goal is to help industry not only find ways to use energy more efficiently, but to improve productivity and enhance global competitiveness. ITP looks forward to many more years of productive and cooperative collaboration with the forest products industry.


* How the DOE and the pulp and paper industry began working together.

* The tangible results of that partnership.

* Case studies from successful energy efficiency projects.


Energy efficiency tools available from ITP:

* MotorMaster+: Assists in energy-efficient motor selection and management

* Pumping System Assessment Tool: Assesses the efficiency of pumping system operations

* Steam System Scoping Tool: Profiles and grades large steam system operations and management

* Steam System Assessment Tool: Assesses potential benefits of specific steam-system improvements

* AirMaster+: Provides comprehensive information on assessing compressed air systems

* 3Eplus Insulation Assessment Tool: Calculates most economical thickness of insulation for a variety of operating conditions

* ASDMaster: Determines economic feasibility of an ASD application

* Process Heating Assessment and Survey Tool: Assesses energy use in furnaces and identifies ways to improve performance

See tools.shtml.


The Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) offers system-wide and component-specific training programs to help you run your plant more efficiently. The training is offered throughout the year and around the country.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is co-sponsoring with TAPPI, Norcross, Georgia, USA, a one-day Steam System Assessment workshop. The workshop will be held in Atlanta this coming October 31. The course covers the operation of typical steam systems and discusses methods of system efficiency improvement. The training helps industrial and institutional plant personnel--energy managers, steam system supervisors, engineers, and equipment operators--identify opportunities to improve steam system performance. For more information, contact Martha Quinlin of TAPPI by email at, or by phone at +1 770 209-7399.

For a complete listing of upcoming training events sponsored by the Industrial Technologies Program, visit the web site at


Paul E. Scheihing (near right) is a team leader within the Department of Energy's Industrial Technologies Program. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Connecticut and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University. Contact him by email at


Peter Salmon-Cox (far right) is lead technology manager-technology delivery with the Office of Industrial Technologies. He holds a PhD in Metallurgy from Cambridge University in England. Contact him by email at

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Title Annotation:Energy
Author:Salmon-Cox, Peter
Publication:Solutions - for People, Processes and Paper
Date:Sep 1, 2004
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