SFTec's product, ModHeat, is a modular and mobile industrial dryer, which enables economical and efficient utilization of unused industrial waste heat to dry bioenergy materials. SFTec was founded as a spinoff company from the University of Oulu (UniOulu). The idea for main product ModHeat stems from the metallurgical industries’ need for more cost-efficient material dryer. The solutions before were either too large and expensive or too small and inefficient. Scientists started developing the dryer in close project cooperation with research institutes and Universities. The first step was to build a small pilot device to test the technology. This very device is still operational and used to test new materials. Finally, after many different events, scientists ended up developing the full-scale device in a marine container.
The company is an innovative technology company and experts in drying technologies, process engineering and circular economy. Scientists also develop and commercialize other innovations that aim to enhance productivity for our customers. They want to develop a new circular economy based business with our innovations together with our customers. ModHeat is an affordable, scalable, mobile and continuous drying technology. It is suitable for many different materials and industries. ModHeat can utilize different kinds of waste heats as a heat source for drying.
The basis of the technology is formed by a modular structure. This enables the capacity to be scaled for different amounts of material. The surface area of the dryer is maximized with modules that are placed on top of each other. Material flows between these layers starting from the top and ending up at the bottom of the dryer. What makes the material move are blades that are constantly mixing the material. This results in homogeneous end product and efficient drying process. Modules can be removed separately which allows easy and quick maintenance. Warm air is blown against the movement of the material. Technology is fully automated and remote controlled. The air flow and the speed of the blades can be optimized for each material and drying environment.
ModHeat consists of simple yet efficient technical solutions. That is why it is the best drying technology for many materials. It is cost efficient drying, which enables many wet materials to be refined into new products or circulated back to processes. Homogeneous and good quality fuel is needed for bioenergy production. Especially distributed energy production depends on dry and good quality material. The dryness level of biomaterial has a huge impact on the heat value and economic profitability of bioenergy production. ModHeat dryes the materials to the optimal level of moisture. ModHeat suits the need to dry many different materials. Seasonal drying is also possible because of the mobility of the dryer. By drying nutrient-rich materials they endure weather and they can be more effectively used as fertilizers. Drying also enables profitable transport of material because excess water has been removed.
Industrial dryer ModHeat of SFTec was chosen as the winner thanks to its potential for employment and commercialization in MPIDEA innovation competition. The competition aimed to find ideas that can create up to 100 000 new working places.