LIFE - HEAT-R - Waste heat valorization by modular thermoelectric recovery system for resource efficiency in energy intensive industries

LIFE16 ENV/ES/000344

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Contact details:

Contact person: Ral ARAGONES ORTIZ
Tel: 34622751486
Email: raul.aragones@aeinnova.com

Project description:


Industry-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have increased continuously in recent years. Although industrys share of global gross domestic product is declining, worldwide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from industry and waste/wastewater grew from 10.4 GtCO2eq in 1990 to 15.4 GtCO2eq in 2010. This represents over 30% of global GHG emissions, more than from either construction or transport.

Global energy demand is expected to increase 40% in the next 25 years, therefore it is vital to develop solutions to improve fuel use and efficiency in large energy-consuming processes. Energy harvesting techniques have the potential to recover 20% (140 terawatt-hours) of the waste heat energy lost by industry. This implies a reduction of 98 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, yielding potential cost savings to industry of 2.1 billion per year.

To realise this potential, solutions for waste heat recovery must become more adaptable to different industrial facilities and lower their maintenance costs. Thermoelectric technology could provide a commercially-viable means of achieving these goals.


LIFE-HEAT-R is a close to market project that aims to demonstrate a new technology for directly converting waste heat into electricity, based on a thermoelectric principle called the Seebeck effect. The technology consists of a modular unit using multiple thermoelectric generator cells controlled through a patented programmable control unit based on system-on-chip technology.

This technology will be demonstrated in industrial sectors with high levels of waste heat emissions, through three pilot sites (classified by temperature ranges) that will permit part of the wasted energy to be recovered in the form of heat and transformed into electricity. This will allow the energy to be used for other activities and processes. The net effect will be to reduce CO2 and other GHG emissions, due to the improved resource efficiency for the whole process.

Expected results:

  • Validation of the new energy harvesting technology (in terms of performance, efficiency and payback);
  • A 15% reduction in GHG emissions by participating industrial facilities, comprising a reduction of 4.42 tonnes of CO2, 0.19 tonnes of methane (CH4), 0.19 tonnes of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 1.47 tonnes of sulphur dioxide (SO2) over the course of the project;
  • A 15% increase in efficiency of participating industrial facilities, saving 12 614 kWh by the end of the project, and a total of 53 377 833 kWh by 2024 (five years after the project);
  • Integration of the new energy harvesting solution into at least four new sectors with high levels of waste heat;
  • Knowledge transfer to relevant stakeholders to achieve market uptake of the energy harvesting solution; and
  • Presence in international markets for large-scale commercialisation.



Environmental issues addressed:


Climate change Mitigation - Energy efficiency


energy efficiency‚  greenhouse gas

Target EU Legislation

  • Climate Change & Energy efficicency
  • Directive 2012/27 - Energy efficiency (25.10.2012)
  • COM(2014)15 - Policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030 (22.01.2014 ...

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Alternative Energy Innovations SL
Type of organisation Research institution
Description AEInnova is a private company founded in 2014. Its mission is to develop high-tech products and services related to harvesting energy from the waste heat of industry, optimising the use of resources and respecting the environment.
Partners None


Project reference LIFE16 ENV/ES/000344
Duration 01-JAN-2018 to 31-DEC -2021
Total budget 1,061,019.00 €
EU contribution 636,611.00 €
Project location Castilla-La Mancha(España) Cataluña(España)


Read more:

Leaflet Electricity Generation: WHRU: Revalorizing your wa ...
Project web site Project's website


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version