Food-Pinch: Dynamic heat integration in the food industry


Hagedorn, Dörthe © Copyright: Lehrstuhl fuer Technische Thermodynamik der RWTH Aachen


Dörthe Hagedorn

Group Leader Energy Systems Engineering (deputy)


+49 241 80 95398




Seele, Hagen © Copyright: Lehrstuhl fuer Technische Thermodynamik der RWTH Aachen


Hagen Seele

Energy Systems Engineering


+49 241 80 95986




Processes like cooking, baking, frosting and cooling cause high heating and cooling demands in food production. Heating and cooling demands of the German food industry lead to more than 11 million tons of CO2 emissions every year. To reduce these CO2 emissions and to lower energy costs, energy efficiency measures are a suitable option. A promising energy efficiency measure in the food industry is heat integration. By appropriately connecting heat sources and sinks, excess heat can often be utilized within the production process. As a result, the demand of external utilities like steam can be reduced significantly while reducing CO2 emissions.

An established method to identify and seize heat integration potentials of continuous processes is the pinch analysis. However, the pinch analysis in its classical form is not applicable to the food industry as food production processes are usually batch processes and thus, discontinuous and dynamic.



Food-Pinch Copyright: © LTT

The aim of the project Food-Pinch is to develop methods to leverage heat integration potentials of the dynamic processes in the food industry. An energy efficient operation shall be realized by means of a dynamic pinch control. To enable additional heat integration potentials, multi-stage investment schedules for production plant extensions shall be developed.

The focus of the work of the Chair of Technical Thermodynamics is to develop mathematical optimization methods to find operation strategies and investment schedules.

The dynamic pinch control is developed in close cooperation with ÖKOTEC Energiemanagement GmbH. The results of Food-Pinch shall be implemented and validated by means of demonstrators at three production sites of the companies Westfälische Fleischwarenfabrik Stockmeyer GmbH, Nestlé Wagner GmbH and Nestlé Deutschland AG (Maggi factory Singen).

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Project Details

Project Duration

01.03.2020 – 31.08.2024

Project Partner

ÖKOTEC Energiemangement GmbH

Nestlé Deutschland AG Maggi factory Singen

Nestlé Wagner GmbH

Westfälische Fleischwarenfabrik Stockmeyer GmbH


German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy