The aim of the »geothermal paper drying« project is to develop steam generation to dry paper. This project is being carried out by the company Kabel Premium Pulp & Paper on the basis of deep geothermal heat from Devonian carbonates in the ground under the city of Hagen. In addition to Fraunhofer IEG and those responsible at Kabel Premium Pulp & Paper itself, the Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT is also working on the project. The project is set to run until 31 December 2022. The project is being funded by the EU and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Geothermal paper drying - geothermal exploration and exploitation concept
In the paper industry, large quantities of industrial process heat in a temperature range of between 100 °C and 200 °C to dry the paper towards the end of the production cycle. The steam is usually generated in central systems and from fossil fuels such as natural gas. In order to decrease the ecological footprint, in other words the CO2 emissions, of the paper industry and to save long-term costs, the project »Kabel Zero« has been set up in the Kabel Premium Pulp & Paper (KPPP) paper factory in Hagen. The aim of this project is to ensure sustainable paper manufacturing by using geothermal energy in the drying process. The »geothermal paper drying« project is the first step in the overarching »Kabel Zero« project. The main objective is to explore the subsurface and to design geoscientific and technical exploitation concepts. The KPPP company location in Hagen fundamentally offers promising conditions for building a deep geothermal and hydrothermal doublet in the future. On the one hand, the »Großholthausener Sprung«, a regionally significant fault zone, runs through the company site. This means there could be increased rock permeability at the location. According to the Geological Service of North Rhine-Westphalia, Devonian carbonate formations are also expected to be present at an estimated depth of approximately 3,200 m to 4,100 m. These geological units are potential deep geothermal reservoirs as experience from district heat supply in the Munich area has shown.