An absorption heat pump for the world’s leading brick manufacturer

This industrial pilot project, which has now reached the industrial stage, demonstrates CNIM's ability to generate significant savings thanks to its heat pumps and absorption technology.

Key figures


Heat recovery target


Heat reinjected into the process


Comprehensive heat recovery system

Optimizing energy efficiency in industrial processes

Wienerberger is the world’s largest brickmaker and Europe’s leading supplier of tiles, operating 202 production facilities in 30 different countries. This Austrian group is seeking to reduce gas consumption in its complex, energy-intensive product manufacturing processes, which include firing and subsequent drying phases.

In an effort to optimize its production facilities’ energy requirements and operating efficiency, while also upholding its strong commitment to sustainable development, Wienerberger has installed an innovative heat recovery system at one of its plants.

Comprehensive heat recovery system

In the Wienerberger Group's pilot plant in the Linz region of Austria, CNIM has developed a complete heat recovery system consisting of an 
absorption heat pump, a scrubber and 14 air-to-water heat exchangers.

Picture: Wienerberger’s pilot plant equipped with CNIM's absorption heat pump

Recovering lost heat from the dryer

Previously purely and simply wasted, the heat produced by the dryer is now recovered and re-injected into the process using an absorption heat pump. The system uses high temperature air as the driving force.

Picture: CNIM's absorption heat pump that optimises energy efficiency in the brickmaking process

Multidisciplinary team efforts

CNIM was chosen for its standard of expertise and ability to support the brickmaker at every stage of the project.

CNIM marshalled its in-house technical expertise and industrial know-how for this project, made possible by close cooperation between CNIM’s Heating Systems division, which provided its expertise in heating system process engineering, and its Chinese subsidiary, tasked with manufacturing the absorption heat pump.

A project that has reached the industrial stage

Gas consumption is reduced thanks to the absorption technology. The recovered heat saves the equivalent amount of energy to preheat the furnace. In the long term, it is expected that some 500 kW of waste heat will be recovered.

The pilot project has moved to the industrial stage. Remote monitoring and maintenance are carried out by CNIM, as part of an iterative improvement process with Wienerberger.

Picture: remote performance monitoring for both the heat pump and the complete system