Large potential exists in recovering waste heat from paper industry processes and machinery. If the overall energy efficiency would be increased, it could lead to significant fuel savings and greenhouse gas emission reduction. The organic Rankine cycle (ORC) system is a very strong candidate for converting low-grade waste heat into power. However, there is a lot of water vapor containing latent heat in the exhaust gases from the drying process in the paper industry. Thus, the aim of this research work is to increase the efficiency of the ORC system by recovering not only the sensible heat but also the latent heat from the exhaust gases in the paper drying process. In order to recover the latent heat from the moist exhaust gases, one idea of this article is to introduce a direct contact condensing unit into the ORC system. The performance of ORC system with the direct contact condensing unit was analyzed by using the CHEMCAD software. A case study was conducted based on data of the exhaust gases from a tissue production / drying machine. Latent heat will be recovered when the evaporating temperature of the ORC working fluid is lower than the dew point of the water vapor in the exhaust gases. The results showed that the available heat load was increased when the evaporating temperature was reduced. Furthermore, a performance comparison of the ORC systems with and without the direct contact condensing unit was carried out in the case study as well. The results showed that the ORC system with the direct contact condensing unit not only could recover latent heat from the water vapor in the exhaust gases but also could have a small size and small volume evaporator in the ORC system.

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