The Use of Abattoir Waste Heat for Absorption Refrigeration

Under the Federal Government's proposed carbon pollution reduction scheme (CPRS), the larger Australian meat processing plants will have an obligation to purchase permits equivalent to their carbon dioxide equivalent (CO-e) emissions. Depending on the price of these permits, processors will face additional annual charges of upwards of $250,000. These costs could be reduced by capturing the biogas from anaerobic ponds and utilising it as a fuel. Overall energy costs can be reduced by fully utilising waste heat sources around the processing plant.

Absorption refrigeration has lower operating costs than the traditional vapour-compression systems as it is able to utilise waste heat or can be direct fired. An absorption system could operate on the waste heat from a rendering plant or the exhaust heat from a cogeneration plant running on methane from biogas. Therefore the objectives of this project were to assess the economics of absorption refrigeration using waste heat from:
a. dry rendering;
b. a cogeneration plant running on biogas from anaerobic ponds,
for larger beef plants that fall under the CPRS and medium-sized plants.