DryFiciency is a five-year Innovation Action project funded by Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation Framework  Program  under the Energy Efficiency 2016 – 2017 call and „Valorisation of waste heat in industrial systems (SPIRE PPP)“ topic. A consortium of 13 partners made of 2 research institutions, 4 SMEs and 7 large industrial companies is addressing the specific challenge that Resource and Energy Intensive Industries (REI) produce significant amounts of waste heat currently being lost. Energy and fuels represent between 20% and 40% of the production costs in several of these industries and produce large amounts of CO2 emissions. DryFiciency aims to improve energy efficiency by designing, building, testing & demonstrating high temperature heat pump systems applicable to these industries.


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. The project addresses drying applications. The results are however of major relevance for a number of other energy-intensive industries such as e.g. pulp and paper industry.


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. Consortium’s work will focus on increasing energy efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions by:
  1. Demonstrating and evaluating two DryFiciency heat pump technologies in three industrial plants
  2. Generic design approach to replicate the technology in a range of industries in both newly constructed and existing plants
  3. A certified training programme to make engineering know how available and promote industry uptake.


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.