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In the LEAP (Low Pressure Steam Heat Pump) project, the integration of heat pump systems for for low-pressure steam supply is being investigated in detail on the basis of the processes of the two industrial partners Lenzing AG and Austrotherm GmbH. For this purpose, possible integration points are identified and the most promising ones are selected for more further analysis. The integration of heat pumps into industrial processes is often complex, as they are usually integrated into existing processes. Therefore, the optimal process integration determines the efficiency of the measure. The investigations will also provide the basis for upscaling in order to exploit the full waste heat potential at the industrial sites under consideration. Furthermore, the investigations in the LEAP project should provide the basis for the development of new business models.

The heat pump is a key technology for the decarbonisation of Austrian industry. The findings from the LEAP project will be used to identify the framework conditions and economic requirements for promoting the integration of steam-generating heat pumps in existing industrial processes.

Overview of Targets

  • Investigations on the integration of one steam-generating heat pump each at Lenzing AG and Austrotherm GmbH
  • Presentation of an efficient technology for waste heat recovery
  • Assessed CO₂ emission reduction up to 66%
  • Scaling of the heat pump concept to utilize the waste heat potential of Lenzing AG and Austrotherm GmbH
  • Creating a basis for the development of new business models.

„Heat pumps are currently only used sporadically in industrial processes. Steam is an important process and heat transfer medium in industry, so steam-generating heat pumps are of particular interest for the decarbonization of industry. The results of LEAP should help to get a better insight into the technology and its potential.“

Sabrina Dusek
Project manager LEAP,
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH


  1. Integration point selected for the heat pump system at Lenzing AG and Austrotherm GmbH
  2. Concepts for the heat pump systems prepared
  3. Scaling of the heat pump concept completed
  4. Necessary framework conditions and requirements identified.

NEFI Power Women for the Decarbonisation of Industry

08. March 2022

Despite numerous efforts to promote and address the issue, the proportion of women in technical professions remains low. During the week of the International Women’s Day, the NEFI Innovation Network will highlight successful female technicians. They are NEFI project managers or are pushing the decarbonisation of industry with their know-how and expertise.

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Support the use of energy-efficient technologies!

07. February 2022

We ask you to fill out this short questionnaire and to support the dissemination of this technology with information about your industrial processes.

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Project management
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Project manager
Sabrina Dusek
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Key facts
Running time:
02/21 – 01/24
Project volume:
€ 655.022
Project overview