Maple Leaf Foods, a Canadian producer of meat and plant-based proteins, saw an opportunity to reduce natural gas usage in its boiler system by using the heat generated by the facility’s refrigeration system, which runs on ammonia.

Maple Leaf Foods approached Cimco Refrigeration to explore using heat recovery technology to do this. Cimco prepared a solution that would meet time deadlines and get Maple Leaf Foods closer to its goal of reducing absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced from its operations by 30 percent by 2030. After completing a feasibility study to project the potential natural gas energy savings, Cimco selected equipment to take advantage of the available waste heat: a potable water desuperheater from Doucette Industries. The desuperheater captures rejected heat from the refrigeration system and uses it to heat the boiler makeup water.

The system provided by Cimco introduced a measured savings of over 600,000 m3 of gas per year, which is roughly an 8 percent reduction of the plant’s usage. Maple Leaf Foods also was able to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions associated with heating water with natural gas boilers by using the rejected heat from the refrigeration system instead.

In total, 1,172 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions were reduced per year, which translates to a 5.5 percent reduction in the plant’s GHG emissions.