5 Ways to Increase Energy Efficiency in the Chemical Industry

At Summit Lubrication, our goal is to improve our products and processes while partnering with you to support your sustainability targets.

The chemical industry is facing a global challenge as the drive to reduce CO2 emissions intensifies. Since the chemical industry accounts for about 10% of energy consumption and 30% of total industrial energy demand worldwide, clear steps to reduce consumption now are critical. 

As the largest consumer of energy among the industrial sector, the chemical and petrochemical industries have the most potential for substantial impact. At Summit Lubrication, our goal is to improve our products and processes while partnering with you to support your sustainability targets. We work in tandem with you to decrease our footprint while increasing your sustainability contribution, together reducing our negative impact on the environment.

Here are five ways to increase efficiency:

1. Transition to synthetic lubricants

High quality synthetic-based oils have been proven to reduce energy consumption. Switching from a mineral-base oil to a pure synthetic can yield thousands of dollars in energy savings. 

Switching to a synthetic lubricant can provide you with: 

  • Energy savings
  • Reduced TCO
  • Reduced CO2 footprint
  • Reliable production

2. Protect and clean your heat-transfer systems

Many companies in the chemical industry still use mineral oils in heavy-duty applications, like heat-transfer systems. Pushing mineral oils to their performance and service-life limits leads to varnish and carbon buildup. These deposits increase energy consumption and downtime due to maintenance. 

The solution is to treat your heat-transfer system with one of Summit Lubrication’s specialized chemical products, like Varnasolv. Varnasolv is a concentrated conditioner fluid combining synthetic ester oil with cleaning additives, giving you a cleaner, smoother system. 

3. Double-check your compressor lubricant 

Improper compressor lubricants can lead to clogged oil filters, damaged equipment, premature wear, and buildup of sludge. By using the right lubricant, you can avoid residues and gas stream incompatibility, keeping your compressor equipment running cleaner and more efficiently. Combining the use of a synthetic gas or air compressor oil with a cleaning agent like Varnasolv has proven to lead to energy savings of up to 3-5%. 

4. Switch to automatic lubrication 

Automatic lubrication will conserve more energy than manual lubrication. Manual lubrication can be inaccurate, is time-consuming, and requires knowing the right lubricant (grease or oil) and the right quantity to avoid equipment failure.

Automatic lubricators help you: 

  • Reduce your energy consumption through reduced friction: The right amount of oil at the right interval
  • Reduce your CO2 and process emissions in addition to water or chemical consumption: Cleaner lubrication requires less cleaning
  • Decrease your lubricant consumption and thereby reduce waste
  • Improve the safety and efficiency of your maintenance team: More time allowed for optimization due to streamlined maintenance
  • Reduce your lubricant costs by up to 25% 

5. Don’t tolerate scale in your equipment

Non-distilled industrial water contains mineral salts that bind to metal, especially hot surfaces.

These scale deposits plague your operation’s efficiency. Descalers, like Summit Lubrication’s Sublime Descaler, offer an instant return on your investment. With Sublime, you get a safe and simple method for returning scaled-processing equipment to top-operating efficiency. Monitoring the buildup of scale in your equipment can help you avoid lost revenues and higher production costs due to equipment downtime and unnecessary power consumption. 

Contact Ryan Wirth, Summit Lubrication’s Market Manager for Petrochemical Plants, at Ryan.Wirth@us.kluber.com to see how you can reduce your facility’s impact on the environment while saving time and money.

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