DryFiciency Waste Heat Recovery in Industrial Drying Processes


The overall objective of the DryFiciency project is to lead energy-intensive sectors of the European manufacturing industry to high energy efficiency and a reduction of fossil carbon emissions by means of waste heat recovery to foster competitiveness, improve security of energy supply and guarantee sustainable production in Europe.



Type of Action

Innovation Action


€ 5 million

Start date



48 months

Project details

The challenge

Three novel heat pump demonstrators will be elaborated in the DryFiciency project to validate three novel high temperature industrial heat pumps for waste heat recovery resulting in energy savings of 60 – 80 % in the:

  • Agricultural raw material industry (AGRANA)
  • Ceramic industry (Wienerberger)
  • Waste management industry (Scanship)

Each of the demonstrators will be designed, constructed and commissioned at the respective industrial site and operated under real industrial conditions at TRL 7.

The solution

The DryFiciency consortium will elaborate technically and economically viable solutions for upgrading idle waste heat streams to process heat streams at higher temperature levels up to 160 °C. The key elements of the solution are two high temperature heat pumps: a closed loop heat pump for air drying processes and an open loop heat pump for steam drying processes. The Consortium’s work will focus on increasing energy efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions by demonstrating and evaluating two DryFiciency heat pump technologies in three industrial plants. The generic design approach will allow to replicate the technology in a range of industries in both newly constructed and existing plants. A certified training programme will make engineering know how available and promote industry uptake.  

The main impacts

The potential of the technology demonstrated is to reduce the specific energy demand for drying and dehydration from 700-800 kWh per ton down to 200 kWh per ton of evaporated water. The energy switch from fossil fuels towards heat pump technology reduces the environmental impact considerably and offers at the same time a potential for energy savings of up to 60-80 %. This will lead to substantial reduction of energy costs and consequently lower specific product costs resulting in a significantly improved competitiveness.


The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme for energy efficiency and innovation action under grant agreement No. 723576.