Volume 7, Issue 1
Published: January 21, 2013
Insulating for the future

With the ability to slash CO2 emissions by nearly 50Mt a year, efficient storage tank insulations are proving popular with tank operators who have their eye on the prize


How can tank operators reduce energy costs and cut CO2 emissions? Storage tank insulations are becoming more important than ever. Global CO2 emissions have risen dramatically over the past few years and are set to increase by up to 90% by 2050 should industrial emissions remain unchecked.

Although thermal insulation systems are easily installed and highly cost-effective, studies have revealed that industrial insulations are either poorly maintained or nonexistent, resulting in excessive heat losses2. However, with the EU’s ambitious plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20% compared to its 1990 levels by 20203 and a carbon tax more likely, industrial insulation solutions can play a key role in achieving energy targets.

One of the most obvious advantages of effective thermal insulation is the reduced loss of heat. By wrapping tanks in materials with low thermal conductivity, heat within the tank is retained more effectively. As a result, tank operator sneed to use considerably less heat-generating equipment to produce the same amount of heat. According to a study commissioned by the European industrial insulation Foundation (EiiF), improving insulation to a cost-effective level would avoid 66% of current heat loss. This in turn would also have an impact on carbon emissions, resulting in a potential reduction of 49 megatonnes (Mt) of CO2 per year. As prices for energy rise, these cost saving potentials will become even more obvious, making energy-efficient insulations an attractive investment for the future.

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