Enabling the drying process to save energy and water, realising process efficiency in the dairy chain

Solutions developed

Saving energy and water in the Dairy industry, by introducing innovations in the processing plant. Namely RF heating, solar thermal energy, mono-disperse atomising, dryer modelling, inline monitoring, cleaning with enzymes and membrane technology. With these technologies energy and water loops are closed instead of lost in the plant. These technologies will be demonstrated in pilot facilities. The proposal has significant SME participation to realise industrial and commercial relevance.

Main results

The technologies were demonstrated at two pilot facilities to show their potential at an industrially relevant scale. With this combination of technologies, the scientists achieved a 45 % reduction in energy use compared to conventional processes. During cleaning, they reduced water consumption by 30 to 50 %, depending on the equipment that was being cleaned. The initiative’s results also showed that the new technologies had no detrimental effect on the quality of the product. This substantial reduction in energy use could be an important contribution to the ambition for a more sustainable dairy food chain. These technologies also have potential application beyond the dairy sector and could be adapted to meet the needs of other industries, such as pharmaceuticals.