Drying processes are mostly used in manufacturing, mining and wastewater services. Optimisation of drying processes involves identifying efficiencies in the removal of water or other liquid from materials.

Efficiency improvements often involve the use of a mechanical process to remove additional liquid prior to drying with heat. Filter presses, for example, are a highly energy-efficient way to remove moisture but are not always able to achieve complete moisture removal. Natural air drying is a slower option, but requires no energy use.

Sectors and common applications

  • Mining – drying raw mined materials before processing
  • Manufacturing – food products such as dried fruit, tablet coating (pharmaceuticals), paper manufacturing
  • Services – drying of sludge in wastewater treatment


  • 68.5/100
  • Estimated energy savings in 2014 across the sectors was 58 PJ/pa.


Indicator Score
1. Energy saving potential  
1.1 Level of energy efficiency 13.5/15
1.2 Market prospect 4/10
1.3 Energy saving potential 10/10
2. Technical practicality  
2.1 Innovative or advanced nature 15/25
2.2 Reliability 6/10
3. Economic characteristics  
3.1 Investment per unit energy 4/10
3.2 Payback period 10/10
3.3 % of Industry $ gross added value 3/5
4. Social characteristics 3/5


As part of their mineral operations, Iluka Resources Ltd separates minerals via electrostatic separation, which requires the minerals to be completely dry. Drying of the minerals prior to electrostatic separation is accomplished using gas-fired fluidised bed dryers. The wetter the minerals, the more energy required for drying. To minimise this energy use, Iluka introduced to reduce the wetness of minerals before they enter the dryers.

Other companies that have identified drying optimisation as a source of energy savings include:

For more information, see:

Pulp and paper

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