European paper association CEPI has said paper manufacturing energy needs could be halved following a recent collaboration with the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA).
A working group comprising members of the European paper and heat pump industries calculated potential energy savings in paper drying of more than 50%, and a joint CEPI-EHPA paper detailing how heat pumps could be integrated into paper mills has now been published.
A recent development is that commercially available large heat pumps and steam compressors can now heat up to 200°C, making them suitable for the pulp and paper industry.
According to CEPI, whether or not heat pumps can be rapidly deployed in mills across Europe now depends on the regulatory incentives that national governments and EU institutions can provide for electrifying the sector. It said facilities will require large amounts of affordable clean energy to meet the challenges set in the recently announced EU Green Deal Industry Plan.
“When CEPI launched the Energy Efficiency Solutions Forum exactly three years ago, heat pumps were investigated but were not yet reaching high enough temperatures,” explained CEPI Director General Jori Ringman. “Through the candid collaboration between both sectorial associations, the technology now matches our needs. It will be an important building block in reducing the energy requirements in the paper industry.”
EHPA General Secretary Thomas Nowak added: “The progressive phase-out of the fossil fuel alternative in industrial applications will be essential to building a business case. It will also be driven by high energy costs and the increasing CO2 price, where clean energy clearly offers a beneficial solution.”