Our small mill uses annually around 20GWh of energy to heat water out of the paper web (about 1300kWh/ton). The cost of energy is high both financially (350-550 000 EUR annually) and environmentally. Every 1% of water that is removed before drying section means around 3% decrease in energy usage per ton. About 80M tons of paper is used in Europe annually.
77% of energy used in paper recycling goes to segregate water from wet paper web and that is a huge inefficiency in energy consumption.
As energy is a very important part of paper production cost and CO2 emitted has a wide impact, it is an industrywide problem.
Today big machines have different methods to improve dewatering (mostly mechanical changes to foil angles ect). Also, ultrasound has been tested. 50% dryness after press section still is considered very good.
A lot of research has been done (by universities, big corporations ect) without a considerable improvement.