The Heat Is On

  • Project leader
  • Maurice van den Broek
  • ISPT

Energy reductions in heat driven processes through integration of drying technology, ICT, heat pumps and other technologies. 


For industries like agrofood, paper and specialty chemicals, some 40-80% of the CO2 emissions is related to the energy that is needed for heat driven processes like separation and drying. Heat is now mainly generated from fossil fuels and cascades through processes from high to low temperature. Heat integration is a balancing act between heat generation and use/reuse. As a result, a small change to achieve more energy efficiency in one part of the process, can have substantial effects. 


In The Heat is On parallel efforts are being be made to increase process efficiency in unit operations, through efficient separation and drying processes that decrease the amount of water to be evaporated and increase the heat upgrading potential and smart process optimisation and control through digital twins. THIO applies a case driven system approach integrating these three innovations to achieve a significant savings in the amount of heat needed at the industry.

To obtain an optimal integral approach, the project innovations are organized from two perspectives:  

  • Increasing the technological readiness levels: Technology development teams develop required individual dewatering and drying technologies, methods and concepts needed.  
  • Increasing the innovation readiness levels: Case development teams focus on the realization of the impact at the industry partners, by integration of the technological solutions in the total heat reduction plan, ensuring appropriate business models and energy infrastructure, trained personnel, process control, etc. 

This integrated system is supported and accelerated by a third perspective: 

  • Increasing the operational readiness levels: an Exploitation and impact team aims to accelerate the uptake and implementation of insights from the project by professionals and students by an online learning environment and organization of Learning Communities. 


Expected impact: 30% energy reduction in 2030 on average in the three industry sectors (paper, agrofood and specialty chemicals): >3,0 Mton CO2 reduction in 2030 when implemented by all. 

The Heat Is On aims to have the following impact on the technical development: 

  • Efficient dewatering and drying using high solids technologies that result in 10% less water to be evaporated/dried and subsequent energy reduction.
  • Combined heat integration and drying innovations concepts that result in 50% less fossil fuel consumption for drying.
  • Smart manufacturing solutions that result in 10% energy savings due to improved process control.

Through these technologies, we aim to make the following impact on three cases in the industry.

An amazing project team

This project covers a broad range of stakeholders with representatives from the industry and input from scientists and researchers.  

  • Participating companies with heat driven processes from the paper, agrofood and specialty chemicals industry.
  • Knowledge, research and system integration partners develop the technological solutions and convincing cases for the industry (e.g. finding, designing & testing innovations).
  • Component / machine / energy suppliers.  
  • Industry organizations.  

Grant provider

This project is co-funded with subsidy from the Topsector Energy by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.

Sustainable development goals

This project contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Project partners

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