Superheated steam drying for sustainable and recyclable web-like materials

Project: EU project

Project Details


SteamDry develops and pilots superheated steam drying technology (SSD) for weblike materials such as paper, board, tissue, and nonwovens. SSD is expected to reduce the consumption of energy radically, leading to 60% energy savings in a drying process, representing ~40% energy savings on the entire production line. It also demonstrates a concept that can lead to CO2 emission-free paper and board manufacturing, and an increase in the share of renewable energy. In a long term, the energy savings potential in Europe is 127 TWh or 6 B€ annually for paper and board manufacturers. In addition to pulp and paper sectors, the developed concepts are expected to be suitable for chemical industry and wood processing applications. Through the developed SteamDry concept, the technology suppliers can increase their market share revenue 230-345 M€ annually in Europe. The global annual energy savings potential is 870 TWh, almost 7x of European energy savings and market potential.

The developed solution can be installed on either existing infrastructure or on newbuilt machines with low CAPEX and OPEX creating new opportunities for technology suppliers and savings for the users of this technology. Results ultimately lead to the prosperity of these companies and the CO2-savings targets of the EU. Exploitation potential will be validated through the business cases calculated by technology suppliers and product manufacturers.

The piloting of SSD increases knowledge of a) keeping two gas phases, air and steam, separate, b) cleaning superheated steam from biobased particles, c) operating these safely and d) AI-supported advanced control platform.

This approach builds on the consortium with strong capabilities to perform the action. The consortium consists of four R&D institutes and two universities - with piloting, technology upscaling, AI, and modeling expertise - two leading technology suppliers and five product manufacturers that are potential end users for the developed technology.
Effective start/end date1/01/2430/06/27

Collaborative partners

  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (lead)
  • Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) (Project partner)
  • VDEh-Betriebsforschungsinstitut GmbH (Project partner)
  • Stichting Wageningen Research (Project partner)
  • Valmet Technologies Oy (Project partner)
  • Metsä Spring Oy (Project partner)
  • University of Twente (Project partner)
  • University of Santiago de Compostela (Project partner)
  • Ahlstrom Oyj (Project partner)
  • Sofidel S.p.A (Project partner)
  • Piller Blowers & Compressors GmbH (Project partner)
  • Sappi Benelux (Project partner)
  • Fundación Empresa-Universidad Gallega (FEUGA) (Project partner)
  • Smurfit Kappa Paper Services B.V. (Project partner)

Funding category

  • Horizon Europe


  • Drying
  • Superheated steam
  • paper
  • paperboard
  • papermaking
  • tissue paper
  • research and development