Wienerberger- Brick Industry

Wienerberger operates approx. 200 similar dryers. In case of successful demonstration, heat pump drying shall replace the actual fossil based combustion-driven drying technique. To run the heat pumps on “eco-electricity”, the large roof areas of the production sites will be used for PV-installations. “Green certificate” selling propositions and CSR issues are gaining on importance. Clients are increasingly interested in ecologically friendly produced construction materials with a low “CO2-footprint”. Clay building materials have more than 5000 years of tradition. Clay is available nearly everywhere. The disposal of clay building materials is uncritical since it is nothing else but fired clay. Now there is the chance to considerable reduce its production energy demand. A further advantage of heat pump drying is that the use of condensed water reduces the fresh water demand.

Process Description:

The third demonstration site will be placed in the ceramic industry for brick drying. The useful supply temperature of the novel heat pump system will be around 90 to 160 °C; the heating capacity between 600 to 1000 kW.

The shaped clay products (green bricks) with a moisture content of around 30 % must be dried to a maximum allowed kiln-entrance-moisture of 2-4 %. The drying takes place in “open” convection dryers by use of hot air. “Open” refers to the fact, that warm/hot air enters the dryer, whereas tepid/cold air with high relative humidity exits the dryer. The heat-pump is foreseen to recover sensible and latent energy from the humid air flow to supply heating coils in the dryer with hot water. The whole process can be “closed”. Beside the considerable reduction of CO2-emissions, the condensed water can be re-used in the production process.

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