Decarbonizing Process Heat Supply in the Austrian Pharmaceutical Industry




Energy Efficiency, Heat Pumps, Decarbonization


In the pharmaceutical industry, energy efficiency has played a minor role compared to other energy-intensive industries. However, there is a growing recognition of the need to address environmental concerns. With ambitious climate targets and the increasing demand for significant reductions in CO2 emissions, the pharmaceutical industry is now embracing the opportunity to enhance its sustainability practices. Mainly fossil fuels are used to provide process steam at moderate temperature levels at about 160-180°C and to a lesser extent to provide hot water or for on-site power production in CHPs. In this paper, the main processes with demands for process heat, such as media supply, cleaning, or air conditioning, are presented and possibilities for increasing efficiency, for switching to alternative heat supply and for using alternative process technologies are evaluated with respect to economics, but also regarding hurdles for implementation such as requirements for revalidation of production processes and possible necessity of re-approval of products.

The present study highlights the potentials for decarbonization of the Austrian pharmaceutical industry using a generic but representative production site applying various measures that either reduce heating and cooling requirements or alter the temperature requirements for heat supply. It is shown that, at least for the example case, full decarbonization is technically feasibly without an increase in energy costs if efficiency measures are progressively used on demand level.


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How to Cite

Beck, A., Traninger, M., Mauel, B., Kloska, T., Hubmann, F., Leibetseder, D., … Drexler-Schmid, G. (2024). Decarbonizing Process Heat Supply in the Austrian Pharmaceutical Industry. International Sustainable Energy Conference - Proceedings, 1.

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Solutions for Climate Neutral Industrial Production

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