Waste Heat Recovery – How It Works and Why You Should Consider It

Waste Heat Recovery – How It Works and Why You Should Consider It

January 20, 2023 0 By oliviamiller029

The increasingly harsh climate conditions are making it necessary for businesses to find alternative and more sustainable ways of generating energy. One such option is waste heat recovery. Which uses the heat that is generated from processing operations to produce electricity or thermal energy. In this article, we will take a look at the basics of waste heat recovery using the plate and frame heat exchanger.

What is Waste Heat Recovery?

Waste heat recovery, or WHR, is a process by which thermal energy from industrial processes is recovered and used to generate electricity. The heat is recovered from a variety of sources. Including burning fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas; manufacturing processes; and data centers.

WHR systems are typically composed of three main components: the heat exchanger, the turbine generator, and the electrical grid. The heat exchanger captures the thermal energy from the process and transfers it to the turbine generator. The turbine generator uses this energy to produce electricity. The electrical grid then sends this power out onto the grid.

There are several benefits to using WHR systems for industrial processes:

  • Energy efficiency: WHR systems are very efficient in capturing thermal energy from industrial processes and converting it into usable electricity. This saves on both energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Environmental sustainability: WHR systems use less fuel than traditional methods of generating electricity, thus reducing environmental impacts. They also produce no ash or other pollutants that can remain in the environment long after they have been eliminated from the process.
  • Economic viability: WHR systems are often more cost-effective than other forms of electricity generation when compared to fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas.

Process of Waste Heat Recovery

Waste Heat Recovery (WHR) is a process that uses the thermal energy of waste to produce heat for industrial or residential use. The process of WHR can be broken down into four main steps: pre-heating, heating, post-heating, and condensing.

  1. Pre-Heating: Waste is heated to temperatures high enough to vaporize solids and break down organic materials. This step helps to reduce the number of odors that come from the waste.
  2. Heating: The waste is then heated to temperatures high enough to liquefy the vaporized solids and gases. This step creates steam which can be turned into electricity or used in other industrial processes.
  3. Post-Heating: The steam created in the previous step is condensed back into liquid form and stored in a tank. This liquid can then be used for industrial purposes or sent back into the waste stream for further processing.
  4. Condensing: The liquid stored in the tank after post-heating is cooled down. So that it can turn back into a gas again. This gas can then be released and used in other industrial processes or sent back into the waste stream for further processing. 

Use Plate and Frame Heat Exchanger for Waste Heat Recovery

The Plate and Frame Heat Exchanger works by transferring heat from the hot exhaust gases to the cold water. This process allows for heat to be recovered and used to operate equipment or heating systems. The hot exhaust gases are sent through small tubes called passageways which are inserted into the water stream. This contact between the two streams causes a rapid exchange of heat which in turn reduces the temperature of the water. 

The Plate and Frame Heat Exchanger is a cost-effective way to recover waste heat. And, it can be used in a variety of industrial applications. It is also environmentally friendly as it does not produce any emissions.


If you’re looking to save money on your energy bills or simply want to create less pollution, waste heat recovery is a great option for you. Waste heat recovery turns unwanted thermal energy into usable forms of energy, such as electricity and hot water. By doing so, you can help reduce the amount of energy that needs to be produced from conventional sources like coal and oil. In addition, by recovering this thermal energy we can also prevent buildings from overheating in the summertime and reducing air conditioning demand in wintertime. If these benefits aren’t enough, consider how Waste Heat Recovery through heat exchangers can help protect the environment – it’s definitely something that should be on your radar!