Project Description


ETC has been selected by the highly competitive H2020 SME INSTRUMENT PHASE 2 PROGRAM


Download data sheet




For its project: ECO-STOCK®

Budget: €1,978,750

EU contribution: €1,385,125

Duration: 4 years – 2019 to 2023

An initiative of the European Commision: This project was founded by the European Union’Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program under grant agreement n° 879608.

Project context

Today heavy industries are losing 20-40% of the energy they consume through waste heat. Above 200°C, these losses represent each year more than 4,000 TWhth, €200bn and 2,500 Mt CO2 unlessly emitted. Waste heat recovery solutions have emerged: they offer massive potential in costs/energy savings as well as reduction of environmental impact. However, due to financial viability, existing solutions are mainly implemented for large industries & not compatible with all types of processes. Main challenge is to offer reliable, efficient & affordable heat recovery solution with reduced CAPEX & OPEX.

Our solution is based on 3 innovative concepts:

  • Materials: The elaboration of ceramics from industrial wastes, such as refractory ceramics for thermal storage.
  • Process: The implementation of those ceramics in a thermal energy storage Eco-Stock® unit.
  • Financial: The financial scheme design facilitating & de-risking the customer purchase, based on ESCO investment.

This solution solves one of the main challenges of the industry—increasing energy efficiency while reducing CO2 emissions & saving money. Waste heat recovery is a global multisector market: 50,000+ industrial sites in various sectors are concerned & thousands of Eco-Stock® units could be sold. The market size of waste heat recovery systems was €39.3bn in 2015, projected to reach €58.8bn by 2021. It is a high-volume market underexploited because of high CAPEX & low flexibility of existing solutions. To reach the commercialisation objective, the phase 2 project budget is €1.9M for 24 months.

The project

The main objective of this project is to demonstrate the Eco-Stock®, a waste heat recovery solution through thermal storage, in a real environment at an European heavy industry production site. For this purpose, the Eco-Stock will be adapted to industry tunnel kilns specifications.


  • 2019-2021: Basic then front-end engineering design have been performed to fit the demonstration site specifications. Then, in quarter 2, Eco-Stock manufacturing and digitalisation tools have been launched.
  • 2020-2021: Search for and identification of a new partner – Villeroy & Boch

  • October, 2021: Signing of an agreement with Villeroy & Boch, the international ceramics giant on the Valence d’Agen industrial site, Tarn et Garonne, France.

Villeroy & Boch was founded in 1748 with the aim of offering high-quality products for the home. These innovative and elegant products are used in the bathroom, tableware, tiles and kitchen. The group employs more than 7,300 people in almost 125 countries.

The Valence d’Agen factory is committed to a real environmental and energy transformation of its production facilities.

  • January, 2022: Webinar

Power to heat webinar in collaboration with ATEE Occitanie

It was decided to supply the furnace with hot air to validate the system and the various components before moving on to more ambitious operation, i.e. supplying burners with hot air.

  • May, 2022: A first measurement campaign is carried out by Eco-Tech Ceram teams at Villeroy & Boch’s Valence d’Agen industrial site.

The aim was to quantify the heat from the furnace in terms of quantity (flow rate) and temperature. This campaign was necessary for the dimensioning of the proposed solution.

  • May, 2022: Webinar

Eco-Tech Ceram is invited to testify as a laureate of an H2020 call during the Horizon Europe webinar organised by the DERBI competitiveness cluster. Marine Homan, funding engineer of Eco-Tech Ceram, presented the many advantages of the H2020 programme: the financial interest, the increased visibility and credibility for future funders, the creation of business opportunities and the possibility of job creation.

  • July, 2022:

A study of the industrial site is carried out by Eco-Tech Ceram with the Villeroy & Boch teams.

The aim is to evaluate the feasibility of implementing the solution on the furnace (passage of new sheaths in the current environment, implementation of Eco-Stock, etc.).

  • August, 2022:

We checked that we could work on the furnaces while they were in operation: making the quilting on the fast cooling.

Reception of sheaths that will allow work to be carried out without intervening on the furnace and installation of connecting sheaths between the heat source and the Eco-Stock solution.

Connection to the tunnel furnace for waste heat recovery.

  • September – October:

Engineering phase:
– The Eco-Tech Ceram team ordered the main equipment for the construction site to be installed at the end of 2022/beginning of 2023.
– We have carried out the layout of the installation, as well as that of the heat recovery ducts.

  • January 2023:

Our team assembled the tubes and compensators and installed them on the tapping points of zones 4 and 5 of the tunnel kiln during the January shutdown. This will allow us to connect the Eco-Stock platform to the furnace when it is running (end of January), without any safety risks.

Next steps:
– Receipt and installation of the Eco-Stock tank
– Start of the installation of the recovery ducts
– Filling of the Eco-Stock tank in mid-February.

  • February 2023:

Filling of the Eco-Stock for heat storage. The tank is now ready to be connected to the furnace, to start recovering waste heat.

More information about the recovering waste heat by thermal storage.


  • April 2023:

The entire ductwork is installed. The electrical connection has therefore begun and commissioning will take place in May 2023.


  • May 2023:

The Eco-Stock® coupled with power to heat was commissioned at the Villeroy & Boch site in Valence d’Agen to produce low-carbon, competitive heat.

Process used:

  • Heat is recovered from the kiln chimney and transferred to the power to heat unit via fans.
  • The power to heat system raises the temperature using low-carbon electricity.
  • During off-peak hours, the heat from the flue gases is stored in the Eco-Stock® and at the same time recovered at the furnace inlet.
  • At peak times, only the heat stored in the Eco-Stock® is recovered in the tunnel kiln.
  • The hot air is recovered in the first zones of the kiln, enabling Villeroy & Boch to reduce its gas consumption.

This innovative solution will make it possible to produce low-carbon, competitive heat.


The Eco-Stock, coupled with power to heat, is in operation at Villeroy & Boch's Valence d'Agen plant. This solution produces carbon-free heat.


  • 19th October 2023

Official inauguration of the Eco-Stock® and power to heat.