Mollier facility: innovating in industrial drying technology

No less than fifteen percent of the energy used by industry is needed for dewatering and drying processses This occurs mainly during the production of paper, chemicals and food. Innovations in this field are generally aimed at improving product quality, while there is also much to be gained from energy savings. TNO is taking up this challenge with the Mollier facility.

With financial support from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, TNO will build an advanced infrastructure with equipment to experiment with different types of dewatering and drying technologies in the coming period. Discussions are ongoing with industrial end-users and equipment manufacturers about the exact details of the research programmes that will start this year.

Under realistic conditions

The Mollier facility ties in closely with the recently established Carnotlab of TNO in Petten, which focuses mainly on industrial heat management and heat pumps. The knowledge developed here can in many cases be applied for innovative energy-efficient drying and dewatering technologies. In the Mollier facility these can be validated under realistic industrial conditions. In cooperation with companies, process conditions are created that correspond to processes such as spray , drum, belt and paper drying. The lab will also have equipment for the demonstration of innovative heating techniques such as microwave and infrared, superheated steam technology and combinations with heat pumps.

Product quality and energy savings

With the commissioning of the Mollier facility, the attention of end users and suppliers for product quality goes hand in hand with reducing the energy consumption of dewatering and drying processes. For companies, this means cost savings and at the same time a reduction in CO2 emissions. TNO develops innovative technologies in close cooperation with industrial end users and manufacturers of drying and dewatering equipment. This results in innovations that can be directly applied in industrial operating processes.

Knowledge exchange

In the scientific field, TNO works closely with Wageningen University & Research (WUR), which is primarily concerned with the product quality of drying and dewatering processes, and the University of Twente, which has been a development partner in the field of pervaporation separation technology for some time. Other stakeholders of the Mollier facility are the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT), which focuses on open innovation in the process industry, and the Dutch Working Group on Drying (NWGD), in which industry and science exchange knowledge to optimise drying processes.

Ideal partner industrial drying technology

Thanks to its in-depth knowledge of dewatering and drying technology and its ability to experiment and test under realistic conditions, the Mollier facility is the ideal partner for industrial companies that want to make their processes more energy efficient and contribute to reducing CO2 emissions. TNO helps accelerate the energy transition by developing, validating and putting into practice innovative energy-efficient techniques with partners.

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