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A recuperator is a special purpose counter-flow heat exchanger used to recover waste heat from exhaust gases. In many types of processes, combustion is used to generate heat, and the recuperator serves to recuperate, or reclaim this heat, in order to reuse or recycle it.

Recuperators are often used in association with the burner portion of a heat engine, to increase the overall efficiency. For example, in a gas turbine engine, air is compressed, mixed with fuel, which is then burned and used to drive a turbine. The recuperator transfers some of the waste heat in the exhaust to the compressed air, thus preheating it before entering the fuel burner stage. Since the gases have been pre-heated, less fuel is needed to heat the gases up to the turbine inlet temperature. By recovering some of the energy usually lost as waste heat, the recuperator can make a heat engine or gas turbine significantly more efficient.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Recuperator". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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