Objective 1: Developing Energy-Efficient Drying Technology

The primary aim of the Steamdry project is to develop innovative drying technology that significantly reduces energy consumption compared to the Best Available Techniques.
The project includes developing Superheated Steam Drying (SSD) concepts for high and low-temperature dryers, comparing them with current industry processes, estimating costs for scaling up SSD technology, demonstrating energy savings through simulations, improving closed-loop systems, and tackling steam purification challenges for various raw materials.

Objective 2: Achieving CO2 - Emission Free Drying Process

The Steamdry project aims to develop a drying process that is entirely free from CO2 emissions, focusing on technological breakthroughs for the most energy-intensive aspects of specific processes. The consortium will select process equipment suitable for required temperature levels, using renewable electricity as the energy source for compressors to ensure a completely CO2-emission-free drying process. Additionally, the project will involve the creation of a steady-state process simulation model for both convective and contact dryers, with a focus on calculating energy use cases in various drying applications, such as paper, board, tissue, and nonwoven dryers.

Objective 3: Advanced Control System for SSD Dryer

The Steamdry project aims to develop an advanced control system for the Superheated Steam Drying dryer, integrating novel digital technologies for enhanced process control and data-driven AI optimization. The collaborative efforts involve creating a digital twin for key components, such as compressors and heat exchangers, to optimize control strategies. The project also focuses on designing an IT architecture for a distributed agent structure and implementing model- and data-driven reinforcement learning control to enhance energy efficiency. An AI-based anomaly detection system will be developed for early issue identification, contributing to improved information availability for quality deviations or anomalies. 

Objective 4: Pilot SSD Process for Web-like Products

The objective is to demonstrate reduced energy intensity and validate the feasibility of novel technologies. This involves adapting the current dryer and conducting experiments at VTT in Jyväskylä, Finland, to demonstrate energy savings and CO2-free drying at a web speed of 200 m/min. Material testing in various laboratories will evaluate the physical properties and conversion potential of steam-dried materials. This approach aims to decrease energy intensity at the output level, ensuring the techno-economic feasibility of SSD technologies, advancing from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4 to TRL 6.

Objective 5: Environmental and Techno-economic Assessment of SSD

This objective focuses on conducting a comprehensive assessment of Superheated Steam Drying (SSD) technology. This includes generating a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), Techno-Economic Assessment (TEA), and Social Impact Analysis in accordance with ISO-14040 and ISO-14044 standards. The aim is to support the commercial adoption of SSD technology by validating its CO2 reduction and sustainability benefits. A pathway roadmap will be developed offering guidance for the technology’s adaptation.

Objective 6: Evaluate Business Potential for Various Product Manufacturing Sectors

Objective 6 aims to assess the business potential in diverse product manufacturing sectors. This involves evaluating two business cases within the technology supplier sector, using tools like process simulation models and economic evaluation spreadsheets. Additionally, six business cases within the paper, board, tissue, and nonwoven industry sectors will be collectively evaluated. These assessments are crucial for gaining insights into the commercial viability and identifying potential avenues for the exploitation of the SteamDry technology. 

Objective 7: Communicate, Disseminate, and Exploit Project Outcomes

Objective 7 of the SteamDry project entails developing an extensive communication and dissemination plan to engage targeted stakeholders, alongside an exploitation plan supporting economic growth. These plans encompass crucial elements such as key messages, channels, tools, and events to ensure impactful outreach. The exploitation plan integrates insights from up-scaling strategies, business cases, and intellectual property strategies, aiming to maximize the economic impact of the developed technologies and solutions.