Heat and Sorption Systems

Efficient usage of energy in times of climate change and decreasing fossil resources is one of the big challenges we face today, and is thus a key field of activities at the group “heat and sorption systems”. One of our basic goals is to increase energy efficiency by applying and combining energy saving or process intensifying technologies. Concerning process technology, efficient application of energy can particularly be realized by technologies such as drying with superheated steam or the application of electromagnetic fields for volumetric heating.

Besides process intensification and the energy efficient design of industrial processes, the efficient usage of renewable energies and the possibility of energy storage are fundamental parts to ensure sustainable usage of energy. Vast amounts of waste heat are produced during many common industrial processes – the utilization of the waste heat provides an enormous potential in terms of cost and energy savings and process optimization. Key topics are the development, realization and optimization of innovative concepts for the thermal treatment of water and other substances, sorptive heat storage, solar desalination of seawater, concentration of industrial waste water and water harvesting from air humidity by a sorption process. For research, development and process applications on behalf of industrial clients, we operate with both stationary and mobile equipment. In addition, equipment for analytics and powerful software tools for simulation and design of prototypes are also available.

Fields of research


Sorptive Heat Storage

Systems enabling long-term storage of waste or surplus heat without losses are essential for the design of energy efficient processes and energy systems. Meeting the challenge to increase storage capacity, efficiency and flexibility by means of storage duration and space available we develop novel approaches by means of ab- and adsorptive heat storage systems.

Thermal Separation Processes

For the treatment of industrial process water as well as applications as seawater desalination, our multistage vacuum evaporation process ensures savings by the efficient use of heat at low temperatures. In our approach neither vacuum- nor vacuum jet pumps are required for generating the vacuum.


Sorptive Dehumidification

Sorptive dehumidification consists of two stages: first, the air humidity is absorbed by a highly concentrated hygroscopic saline solution and thus bound; then second, this diluted saline solution is distilled and the water separated is condensed. Water harvesting from air humidity is one exemplary application of sorptive dehumidification.

Drying and Torrefaction by Superheated Steam at Atmospheric Pressure

Using superheated steam generated in-situ from the product moisture as drying medium can provide significant advantages in terms of retention time, energy consumption. One advantage of this drying process is the selective recover of valuable volatile compounds to be recycled or further processed.

Efficient Energy Input with Microwaves

Our key filed of activity is the application of electromagnetic fields in process engineering to improve energy input and the efficiency of energy used in process engineering such as e.g. for preserving fluid food products or disposing of waste.