These days, the process industries of Europe are confronted with changing conditions. Their production costs are rising due to increasing energy prices; at the same time, the fuels applied today are causing greenhouse gas emissions, thus boosting global climate change; moreover, Europe´s competitiveness is at risk, since new rivals from emerging countries have appeared on the markets, most of them carrying along lower prices.

The European Commission responds to this new situation with a high number of supporting arrangements for process industries. That includes funding research projects which aim to improve productivity, to increase power efficiency as well, and to ensure a continuous supply of raw materials for the industrial production.

Intending to make things more concrete, a consortium of about thirty research partners from science and industry, coming from countries like Germany, Denmark, France, Portugal, and Spain, has met in Zaragoza (Spain) in the middle of January, 2014. Two members of INOSIM were among them. Together the experts planned the TOP-REF project which aims to improve Europe´s  chemical, agrochemical, and petrochemical process industries.

The project´s targets include a decrease in consumption of water, materials, and energy in process engineering at about 20 percent. That shall lead to more positive environmental effects as well as to lowering production costs.

CIRCE (Centre of Research for Energy Resources and Consumption), which is allocated to the Zaragoza University, is the head of the project´s organization and coordination. TOP-REF´s next step will be a detailed analysis of today´s state of the art in the process industrial sectors mentioned above. In this context, the consulting services for process engineering provided by INOSIM are projected to be applied and to be furthermore developed. In a later phase, tools for controlling and monitoring the production shall be generated. Parallelly, items on cost, environmental impact, and resource consumption shall be found which can be used for supporting decision making in economy and politics.

For tasks like these, the simulation tools of INOSIM have been designed. They will be applied during several phases of TOP-REF. For the project, a duration of 42 months has been scheduled.

For further information, please visit the project´s homepage.

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