A consortium of companies from the steel and ceramics sectors in UK, led by the Materials Processing Institute, has investigated ways of improving waste heat recovery from furnaces leading to several opportunities to cut carbon emissions. The Institute worked with British Steel, Wienerberger UK, Heatcatcher Ltd and Low Carbon Europe Ltd as part of a project that is contributing to the National Energy and Climate Plan which includes Clean Growth Strategy requirements to improve business energy efficiency by 20% by 2030. With both the steel and ceramics industries using gas-fired furnaces in continuous operation at temperatures in excess of 1000 degree Celsius, the project sought to highlight best practice and investigate methods of waste heat recovery to improve energy efficiency and environmental practices. It compared a British Steel reheating furnace with brick kilns operated by Wienerberger UK, examining combustion efficiency and heat flows. The project identified ways to reduce the amount of gas used in the process, including introducing clean-burning hydrogen to the fuel mix by making changes to the furnace burner. It also identified opportunities to:1. Reuse heat from cooling systems to pre-heat the combustion air in brick kilns2. Generate electricity from excess heat in the furnace cooling system3. Use of remnant heat in the steel furnace exhaust to generate electricity using organic rankine cycle turbine4. Improve combustion efficiency through modern burner technologies Both the steel and ceramic sectors have already made strides in reusing exhaust heat to pre-heat product. In addition, the brick kilns use further exhaust heat to dry product while the steel furnace recuperates exhaust heat. The results are being shared across the foundation industries to encourage take up of improved technologies and waste heat recovery. This includes more than 40 other brick kilns and 20 steel reheat furnaces in the UK. The project was partly funded by Innovate UK through the Fast Start Competition, a research and development initiative run by the Transforming Foundation Industries Challenge, providing up to £5 million for cross-sector, collaborative, feasibility studies and industrial research and development projects focused on common resource and energy efficiency opportunities. Innovate UK, which is part of UK Research and Innovation, drives productivity and economic growth by enabling businesses to convert ideas into commercially successful products and services.