Low-grade waste heat recovery technologies reduce the environmental impact of fossil fuels and improve overall efficiency. This paper presents the economic assessment of greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction through waste heat recovery using organic Rankine cycle (ORC). The ORC engine is one of the mature low temperature heat engines. The low boiling temperature of organic working fluid enables ORC to recover low-temperature waste heat. The recovered waste heat is utilized to produce electricity and hot water. The GHG emissions for equivalent power and hot water from three fossil fuels—coal, natural gas, and diesel oil—are estimated using the fuel analysis approach and corresponding emission factors. The relative decrease in GHG emission is calculated using fossil fuels as the base case. The total cost of the ORC system is used to analyze the GHG reduction cost for each of the considered fossil fuels. A sensitivity analysis is also conducted to investigate the effect of the key parameter of the ORC system on the cost of GHG reduction. Throughout the 20-year life cycle of the ORC plant, the GHG reduction cost for R245fa is 0.02 $/kg to 0.04 $/kg and that for pentane is 0.04 $/kg to 0.05 $/kg. The working fluid, evaporation pressure, and pinch point temperature difference considerably affect the GHG emission.
Imran, M., Park, B-S., Kim, H-J., Lee, D-H., & Usman, M. (2015). Economic assessment of greenhouse gas reduction through low-grade waste heat recovery using organic Rankine cycle (ORC). Journal of Mechanical Science and Technology, 29(2), 835–843. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12206-015-0147-5