Heat Recovery in a Ceramic Kiln with an Organic Rankine Cycle Engine

  • M. Gaia
  • E. Macchi
Conference paper


The process of ceramics firing, as well as many other high temperature processes, is highly inefficient and it is possible to recover an important fraction of the heat input. However, the recovery of heat is not practical because heat finds little use in the factory and its transport to other users is expensive.

A recovery system has been proposed by the authors and funded by EEC, which transforms part of the heat of the kiln exhaust gases into electricity by means of an Organic Rankine Cycle Engine. The generated electricity can often be utilized directly in the oven for driving the air and exhaust fans. A thermodynamic study has led to the selection of tetrachloroethylene as the working fluid, with a rated power output of 40 kW at the turbine shaft, at an evaporation temperature of the work fluid of 110°C.

In the paper, the design criteria for the most significant plant components are briefly outlined; some experimental results, obtained in a series of tests carried out at Gemmindustria, are presented: They clearly show that all the technical goals of the research (engine efficiency, power output, behaviour in transient conditions, etc.) have been met. Recently the engine has been installed on the oven of a large ceramic industry, and will be continuously operated for testing the engine reliability in an industrial environment.


Rotor Blade Rankine Cycle Turbine Efficiency Tube Bank Turbine Shaft 
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  1. (1).
    Gaia, M. “Recupero del calore di scarico dai forni a tunnel per ceramica”, (in Italian), Convegno sull’utilizzazione e risparmio di gas naturale nell’industria délie piastrelle per ceramica. Modena, December 1977.Google Scholar
  2. (2).
    Giglioli, G. et al. “Tetrachloroethylene Rankine Cycle for waste heatrecovery from ceramic tunnel kilns” Proceedings 13th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, pp. 1488–1492, SAE paper 789603.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ECSC, EEC, EAEC, Brussels and Luxemburg 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Gaia
    • 1
  • E. Macchi
    • 1
  1. 1.CNPM/Istituto di MacchinePolitecnico di MilanoItaly

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