EPOS project : Management tool for exploring industrial symbiosis


Summer 2019

The EPOS project develops a simple and single management tool for exploring industrial symbiosis (IS) across process sectors. A wide range of technology and management solutions is proposed for supporting collaboration between sectors, by making industrial sites more efficient, cost-effective, competitive and sustainable.

From the start of the project, the consortium has challenged its process industry sites to get to know nearby companies from other sectors and understand their plants, operations, site streams and management. Meanwhile, new ways of doing cross-sectorial business are introduced and tested, always starting from a sound industrial pragmatism.

The UGent cluster management surveys map current and potential cross-sectorial IS cases. The prioritisation of IS opportunities from the longlist has initiated early IS deals within the EPOS clusters, inspiring generic business cases with IS potential for process industry clusters across Europe.

In parallel, after completing detailed energy studies on the EPOS sites using the EPFL energy optimisation platform Osmose and merging with the survey findings, the shareable streams are mapped, and virtual sector profiles built. These profiles are an open-innovative way to share industrial information from industries by simulating typical operating modes of a given industry sector. They enable a systems approach and are an essential part of the toolbox.

The case of heat recovery from an EPOS steel site feeding the Dunkirk district heating network (FR) serves as a textbook example of symbiosis. It points to the success factors driving over 30 years of operation on which the database of technical and non-technical indicators for the EPOS toolbox is built.

The new cross-sector IS cases at the Hull (UK) and Lavera (FR) industrial clusters have supported the EPOS toolbox development. The findings were used to challenge the metrics, system settings, functionalities and operating modes of the EPOS platform. Modelled and integrated into the toolbox is also a selection of more than 25 IS-supporting technologies. And not at least, the multiobjective optimisation function of the EPOS toolbox embeds sustainability and economic parameters that allow for the calculation of triple bottom line gains for a given set of IS solutions.

The EPOS User Club grants access to the EPOS toolbox and shares all guidance material on using the toolbox and investing in IS (manuals, background information, generic cases, etc.).

Contact information:
Coordinator: Greet Van Eetvelde
Email: info@project-epos.eu
Web: www.spire2030.eu/epos

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 679386. This work was supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) under contract number 15.0217