WAR ON WASTE
A BREATH OF FRESH AIR
The magazine of The gea group issue 15 sepTember 2012
GENERATE is published by the GEA Group
Aktiengesellschaft, one of the largest system
providers for food and energy processes with
about EuR 5.4 billion revenue in 2011.
Listed on MDAx stock index, the company
focuses on process technology and
components for demanding production
processes in various end markets. The group
generates about 70 per cent of its revenue
from the food and energy industries, both
of which have long-term growth prospects.
As of December 31, 2011, the internationally
operating technology group had a workforce
of over 23,000 employees serving customers
in 50 countries. GEA Group is a market and
technology leader in its business areas.
GEA FOOD SOLuTIONS
GEA FARM TECHNOLOGIES
GEA HEAT ExCHANGERS
GEA MECHANICAL EquIPMENT
GEA PROCESS ENGINEERING
GEA REFRIGERATION TECHNOLOGIES
GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft
Tel. +49 211 9136-0
Welcome to the fifteenth issue
of GENERATE, published by GEA
More than half the world’s population
currently lives in cities and their
numbers are rising. While urbanization
and industrialization have improved
people’s living standards, they have
come at a cost to the environment.
Today there is a growing awareness of
the need to act more responsibly in the
way we use the earth’s resources and to
cut down on the waste that we create.
Our main feature covers this important
topic and explores the ways in which
waste is being reduced and recycled or
converted into energy.
GEA technology plays an important role
in helping to improve sustainability in a
range of industrial processes. Much of
our equipment is designed to use water
prudently and save energy by recycling
Another downside of industrialization is
air pollution and GEA has a proud
record in developing emission control
systems. In this issue you can read
about how our spray drying absorption
process, developed in the 1970s, is still
being used today to help industries
comply with emission regulations.
The increasing world population is
creating ever higher demands for
food and energy and GEA constantly
develops innovations that will help to
satisfy them. The feature on solar power
shows how our pioneering technology is
helping to capture an important natural
We provide market-leading solutions to
the food industry that cover a lifetime
of nutritional needs, starting with infant
formula. Also, if you’ve ever wondered
how cheese with holes can possibly be
cut into accurate portions, the ‘How to
do it’ article reveals all.
Finally, one of the few sectors you might
not associate GEA with is cleaning
products. But there is every chance
that the soap and shampoo in your
bathroom and the home care products
in your kitchen cupboard have been
manufactured using GEA processing
Chief Executive Officer
GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft
GEA innovation is helping to
capture the desert sun
WHERE THERE’S DIRT,
From soap to household detergents,
cleaning products are part of daily life
A DAY IN THE LIFE
Variety is the spice of life for GEA
Mechanical Equipment’s Ann Cuylaerts
IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS
AND THE PLANET
THE BIG CHEESE
How cheese conquered
The global waste challenge
Getting the formula
right for babies
ART IN ENGINEERING
Cutting the ice
HOW TO DO IT
Accurate slicing of
cheese with holes
Undersea gas field is a monster
Keeping the air clean
Global news from GEA
GENERATE MAGAZINE ISSUE 15 1
The world’s deserTs
receive more energy
from The sun in
six hours Than The
uses in a year. could
power of The deserT
sun provide The
To meeTing global
bu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates is
one place in the world that need not worry
about its energy supply. Its 67,340 square
kilometers holds eight per cent of global
oil reserves and five per cent of natural gas
reserves – enough to last for 100 years.
Yet, despite this natural wealth, Abu Dhabi has
embarked on a sustainable program to wean
itself away from hydrocarbon dependence.
Instead it wants to develop a more diverse
economy and to become a beacon for
renewable energy and sustainable technology.
Masdar, a multi-faceted renewable energy
company of the Abu Dhabi governmentowned
Mubadala Development Company,
is spearheading this sustainability drive. Its
flagship project, Masdar City, is one of the
world’s most sustainable developments,
currently being built 17 kilometers from
the city of Abu Dhabi. The low carbon, low
waste city is a focused effort by Abu Dhabi
to address the challenges of sustainable
planning amid increasing urbanization.
Masdar City achieves this by pioneering best
practises in sustainable urban planning,
design, development and operation. It
has a pedestrian-friendly environment
and is piloting several advanced cleantransportation
systems and strategies,
including personal rapid transit and electric
vehicle point-to-point systems.
The city is also reducing embodied carbon
emissions and waste, increasing recycling,
using local materials and timber from
sustainable forests, and selecting products
that have the greatest positive effect for
indoor air quality.
As it provides a unique test-bed platform that
allows partners in cutting-edge technology
and systems to pilot, demonstrate, refine,
develop and commercialize technologies
on a very fast-to-market platform, Masdar
City has been chosen as the Middle East
headquarters of renowned companies.
In order to help the emirate reach its goal
of moving towards a knowledge-based
sustainable economy, Masdar operates
across the full spectrum of the renewable
energy and sustainable technology industry
through its global and local projects.
For the six years since its inception, Masdar
has provided cutting-edge clean technology
solutions by developing global and local
solar and wind power projects. These include
the unique concentrated solar power (CSP)
plant Gemasolar in Spain; one of the world’s
largest CSP plants, Shams One, in Abu
Dhabi; and one of the world’s largest offshore
wind farms, London Array in the UK.
Shams Power Company is a joint venture
between Masdar Power (60 per cent),
Abengoa Solar (20 per cent) and Total (20
per cent) and is the special purpose vehicle
formed to build and operate Shams One, the
100MW CSP plant in Abu Dhabi’s Western
Region. The plant will provide electricity to
20,000 homes and save 175,000 tonnes of
CO 2. This is equivalent to planting 1.5
million trees or taking 15,000 cars off Abu
For the solar power industry, Shams One
represents three significant milestones:
it’s one of the largest projects of its kind in
the world, covering 2.5 square kilometers,
it’s the first utility-scale commercial solar
power project in the Middle East; and, most
significant of all, it’s the world’s first solar
thermal power plant on desert sand. Shams
One is currently under construction and is
scheduled for completion by the end of 2012.
Power from sunlight
Like most commercial solar power plants,
Shams One will convert sunlight into
electricity using CSP technology. More
than 258,000 thousand concave mirrors
will be configured into 768 parabolic trough
collectors. Each collector will concentrate
the sunlight at between 30 and 60 times its
normal intensity onto a receiver pipe that runs
down the center of the trough. The pipe will
be filled with thermal oil which then passes
through a heat exchanger in the power plant,
turning water into steam which then drives a
turbine to generate electricity. Heat storage
tanks will supply energy to the steam cycle at
night and during times of peak demand.
With the thermal oil reaching temperatures
up to 400°C it partially degenerates and
forms by-products, lowering the heat
transfer. This means that it needs to be
regenerated at regular intervals. GEA
Process Engineering developed fully
automatic distillation plants for achieving
this. Following the successful implementation
at three solar thermal power stations in
Spain this technology is set to be installed at
“Usually the oil has to be taken off site to
a large distillery plant,” explains Sales &
Marketing Manager at GEA, Norbert Streider.
“But we came up with the idea of smaller
units so that the oil could be regenerated on
site. These units are also partially powered by
He says that, although the distillation
technology itself is not new, the difference is
that these units can heat the oil to more than
300°C for high temperature fractionation.
Compared to conventional plants, the GEA
plant has a higher separation efficiency,
allowing a recovery rate of 98-99 per cent and
the reuse of thermal oil with the highest purity.
One of the main problems of locating Shams
One in the desert is – unsurprisingly – the
lack of water. This means that the exhaust
steam from the power plant cannot be cooled
conventionally, by condensation in a wet
cooling tower. Instead a GEA Heat Exchangers
air cooled condenser will be installed, the first
at a solar thermal power plant.
It was particle physicist Dr. Gerhard
Knies, one of the founders of the Desertec
Foundation, who calculated that the world’s
deserts received more energy from the sun in
six hours than the planet’s population used
in a year. The Desertec Foundation is a nonprofit
organization committed to promoting
clean power from the deserts.
It is part of the Desertec Industrial Initiative
(Dii GmbH) – a consortium of European and
Algerian companies – which plans to set up
a vast network of solar and wind farms in
the desert regions of northern Africa and
transmit the electricity via high-voltage direct
current cables. If successful, it could provide
15 per cent of Europe’s electricity by 2050.
Construction of the first Desertec solar farm
is due to begin in Morocco in 2012. This,
together with the Shams One project, is
proving that the idea of capturing the power
of the desert sun is no mirage.
GENERATE MAGAZINE ISSUE 15 3
CHEESE IS BIG
BEING EATEN FOR
10,000 YEARS, IT
IS STILL NOT A
BUT IT’S GROWING
n 1962, President Charles de Gaulle
famously said of France: “How can you
govern a country which has two hundred
and forty-six varieties of cheese?”
Two hundred and forty-six? Some estimates
suggest that there could be closer to 1,000
varieties of French cheese together with at
least 400 Italian cheeses, more than 600
German varieties, and hundreds of others
produced in the Netherlands, Poland and
It is not only the multitude of varieties that is
remarkable, but also the scale of production.
In 2010 the world made an estimated 20.4
million tonnes of cheese – or almost three
kilograms for every person on Earth.
The EU as a whole is far and away the
largest producer of cheese. It is also the
largest exporter and the largest consumer,
with individual European countries topping
each of these tables. France is the largest
exporter by value and Germany the biggest
by volume. Greece has the highest per capita
consumption. Total EU exports in 2012 are
expected to reach 640,000 tonnes with Russia
and the US the main destinations.
Cheese is a key industry in Europe and
in countries – such as the United States,
Australia and New Zealand – that have been
strongly influenced by European cultures and
But the dominance of Europe in cheese
production is now being challenged by the
emerging markets. Between 2005 and 2010,
the combined share of global production taken
by the EU and the US fell from 62 per cent to
57 per cent, and around 70 per cent of the
‘new’ cheese production over the same period
took place outside of the traditional areas.
Furthermore, the cheese being produced
in emerging markets is being consumed
in those markets. In Russia, Brazil and
Argentina, for example, consumption is
ising on average by between five and seven
per cent a year – and in mexico and South
korea by around three per cent. Other
countries have even higher growth rates
because they are starting from lower bases.
China, for example, where the market
doubled between 2005 and 2010.
Historically cheese hasn’t featured in East
Asian diets – and indeed up to 90 per cent of
Chinese are said to be lactose-intolerant. But
with increasing affluence and the influence
of Western foods, the market is growing for
spreadable cheeses, pizza mozzarella and
processed cheese slices for burgers.
Cheese has been eaten in the middle East and
Central Asia for centuries – possibly since
sheep were first domesticated 10,000 years
ago – and it remains an important food in
many parts of the world. It tastes delicious:
but cheese is also a way of concentrating the
nutritional value of milk and extending its shelflife
– as well as making it easier to transport.
A 30-gram serving of Cheddar cheese, for
example, contains about seven grams of
protein and 200 milligrams of calcium. It would
take about 200 grams of milk to provide that
much protein, and 150 grams to equal the
calcium. It is also high in saturated fat.
manufacture typically involves the
acidification of the milk – normally through
addition of the enzyme rennet – which
causes coagulation. The solids are separated
and pressed into final form.
The huge variety of cheeses – their styles,
textures and flavors – depends on the origin
of the milk (including the animal’s diet),
whether the milk has been pasteurized, its
fat content, the bacteria and mold on the
rind or in the cheese, the processing and
aging. Herbs, spices, or smoke are also
used to change the flavor.
most of the world’s cheese is made from
cow’s milk, though the milk of other
ruminants such as sheep, goats and buffalo
is also widely used. Ruminants’ milk contains
high levels of the protein casein which is
needed for coagulation.
But cheese can be – and is – made
from the milk of many other mammals
including reindeer (in Finland), camels (in
mauritania), horses (in mongolia), even
llama and zebra. The Dairy Development
Corporation of Nepal commercially
manufactures cheese from yak milk.
However, the world’s rarest and most exotic
cheeses are made in single locations. One
farm in north-eastern Sweden is believed to
be the world’s only supplier of elk (moose)
cheese. While the world’s most expensive
cheese, priced at EUR 1,000 per kilo, is a
variety called Pule – made of donkey milk in
a nature reserve in Serbia!
GENERATE MAGAZINE ISSUE 15 5
Leerdammer cheese arrives at the
packing line in large film-wrapped logs.
A robot picks up and unwraps each
log before the cheese is conveyed to
the clean room for slicing, weighing,
packing and labeling.
Modern technology has made it possible
to slice and pack a variety of foods,
including cheese, in handy fixedweight
portions. But if the cheese is
full of irregular-sized holes, obtaining
slices of a consistent size and weight
is a challenge. GEA Food Solutions
has developed an X-ray scanning and
packaging system that allows BEL
Leerdammer cheese to be sliced and
packed quickly and accurately. This is
how it works.
The cheese goes through a CFS
OptiScan X-ray scanner which
identifies the position of the holes
and calculates the density of the
product along the whole length of
the log. After scanning, the cheese
is then weighed.
The combined density and weight data
is sent to the computerized control
system on the CFS Giga Slicer which
calculates how thick the slices need
to be. Four cheese logs are sliced
simultaneously and, as each one is fed
through the slicing blades, the control
system ensures that they move through
the blades at the number of millimeters
required to achieve the correct weight.
Stacks of the sliced cheese are
transported on four belts for packing.
Laser sensors monitor the position of
the cheese stacks and, if necessary,
the speed of the belts is automatically
adjusted to keep the stacks in perfect
alignment. The required number of
slices – eight for a 200g pack – are placed
into thermoformed trays, topped with a
thermoformed lid and heat-sealed.
GEA And chEEsE production
Using the scanning, slicing and packing lines installed
by GEA Food Solutions, BEL Leerdammer can process
between 450 and 500 tonnes of cheese per week. The
line has helped the company to boost output and cut
waste and costs by reducing giveaway (where the weight
is higher than stated on the pack) as well as labor.
“Pack legislation on weights stipulates that the contents
should not be lower than 4.5 per cent of the pack weight
but the X-ray scanner provides more than 99 per cent
accuracy,” says Arjen Hettinga, Product Sales Manager
at GEA Food Solutions. “Our system produces a very low
percentage giveaway, in combination with high accept
rates (the amount of portions produced within the legal
pack weight limits). This means fewer workers are
needed to correct the under or over weights.”
The GEA Group has a long history of supplying world
class equipment for cheese manufacturing. Starting
with the raw material – milk – GEA Farm Technologies
provides state-of-the-art solutions and systems for all
stages of the milking process.
GEA Process Engineering has decades of experience
in supplying specialist processing plants to the food
and dairy industry. It has also developed the MICRO
FORMULA for microparticulation of whey proteins.
This process forms particles similar to those found in
milk fat. The MICRO FORMULA unit enables whey, a
by-product of cheese production, to be used to boost
product yield and replace fat in most types of cheese.
Microparticulated whey can also be used as a fat
replacement in other products, such as ice cream,
yogurt, mayonnaise and dressings.
Separators and decanters from GEA Mechanical
Equipment also make an important contribution to cheese
manufacture. Its GEA Westfalia Separator process lines
provide all essential components for making soft cheeses.
Hygienic conditions are essential for processing and
storing cheese and other fresh foods. And that means
having clean air at the right temperature. In a novel
move, GEA Heat Exchangers provides Happel climate
control technology to cheese production which is based
on dehumidifiers normally used in indoor swimming
pools. The Happel dehumidifiers prevent mold forming
Next stop is the labeling station where
the product information is applied to the
packs. At this stage the trays are in a 4x4
configuration. Once the labels have been
applied the trays are cut into individual
packs and then sent on for secondary
packing and delivery.
Using patented GEA technology,
indentations are pressed into
the edges of the tray. This
makes it possible to click the lid
back into place after opening,
allowing the fresh taste of the
cheese to be preserved.
in salt baths used during cheese production and protect
the building as a whole from moisture damage. GEA
Heat Exchangers is also involved at the start of cheese
production, providing plate heat exchangers for cheese
milk and brine treatment.
GEA Refrigeration Technologies has more than 100
years’ experience in providing innovative freezing
and chilling solutions throughout the food industry. It
designs, engineers, installs and maintains marketleading
components and solutions for keeping cheese
cold throughout the manufacturing process, as well as
for storage and delivery.
GENERATE MAGAZINE ISSUE 15 7
OUR HOMES AND
OUR BODIES HAVE
WAY WE LIVE – AND
THEY ARE ALSO GOOD
leanliness is next to godliness” is a wellknown
phrase used by mothers around
the world to encourage their children to
Although its origins are uncertain the
sentiment about the importance of keeping
clean is widely accepted. From soap and
shampoo to laundry detergents and allpurpose
cleaners, personal and home care
products are an important part of our lives.
By helping to make us and our clothes,
homes and cars clean and fresh, personal
and home care products also have the
psychological benefit of making us feel
better. So important are they to modern
life that these products are – literally
– household names. Every household
buys them again and again and again.
And their markets are still growing.
Personal care products are sexy
because they support our desire to look
and feel fantastic. L’Oréal Paris, one
of the leading manufacturers, sums
up this aspiration in its advertising
strapline: “Because you’re worth it”.
Conversely, home care products are far less
glamorous and are usually found under the
sink and out of sight. However, their laborsaving
cleaning properties make a huge
contribution to our busy lives. They come
in a wide choice of fragrances (basic citrus
and bleach smells are no longer enough)
and recent years have seen the development
of eco-friendly ranges. These involve using
natural ingredients and producing superconcentrates
to reduce the carbon footprint
associated with distribution and transport.
But sexy or unsexy, the world of home and
personal care products is fast-moving, ever
evolving and mass-market driven.
It’s also immensely profitable. So much so
that Procter & Gamble (P&G), for example,
is one of the world’s largest companies in
any sector. According to Forbes magazine
it is bigger than Ford and Nestlé and Coca
Cola. Its sales last year were EUR 65 billion,
and almost half of its top brands are either
laundry or basic personal care products
such as toothpaste, soap and shampoo.
And P&G is not alone developing megacorporation
status from such everyday items.
Unilever has 13 brands with annual sales of
more than EUR one billion, including soap
and detergents. Henkel is a EUR 15 billion-ayear
revenue company, selling mainly laundry
products and shampoos. Reckitt Benckiser,
the world’s largest producer of household
cleaners, is regularly cited as one of the
world’s most innovative companies. Luxury
brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Dolce &
Gabbana and Chanel also have a stake in the
personal care arena, offering highly-prized
products for the top end of the market.
All of these companies have a strong
focus on marketing. In 2011, P&G spent an
astonishing EUR 7.2 billion on advertising. It
is, in fact, the world’s biggest advertiser and
has built 26 brands with annual sales of more
than EUR 800 million. The high marketing
and development costs mean that the
market is dominated by large organizations
such as P&G, L’Oréal and Unilever, with
the top ten companies generating around
50 per cent of the global revenues.
Then there is Colgate-Palmolive: with
2010 sales of more than EUR 11.9 billion,
it is another global business based on
the simple chemistry of soap. Colgate
was the first company in the world to sell
toothpaste in a tube. And as long ago as
1927, Palmolive began sponsoring a radio
concert series. P&G subsequently sponsored
– and produced – radio series in the 1930s
and later day-time TV programs aimed at
women. These were ‘soap operas’ – a genre
that is still hugely successful worldwide.
But, although all of these companies
spend massively on promotion, unless their
products actually do what they say they will
do, they will not succeed. These products, on
which we spend so much, deliver cleanliness.
Our clothes don’t smell. Our hair doesn’t
itch. Our work-surfaces are sterilized.
Our hands are clean. And we feel good.
KEEpinG clEAn with GEA
With so much money invested in branding and a
highly innovative market, companies that produce
home and personal care products depend upon
product quality and processes that are totally
consistent and are easily adapted for new trends
and product launches. Process technologies must be
highly efficient, ensure high equipment availability
and guarantee fast change-over times. All of that
must be combined with minimum possible waste
and low carbon footprint concepts to support ‘ecofriendly’
Over the past 25 years, GEA Process Engineering
has built a considerable expertise in handling
the significant variability of ingredients, mixing
techniques, product characteristics and hygienic
processing needed in this sector. Skills range from
producing and processing bulk ingredients to minor
additions, from miscible liquids to hard-to-disperse
powders, from pasty and wax-based products to
flammable and water-like ones, and from clear
liquids to nano-emulsions.
GEA’s references include all major manufacturers
(Unilever, P&G, L’Oreal, Henkel, BDF Nivea, Reckitt
Benckiser, Church & Dwight) and involve batch
plants, semi-continuous (post addition of ingredient)
and continuous plants.
Technologies such as GEA Albro packing systems
ensure that boxes or bottles are filled with the
right amount of detergent, while GEA Diessel batch
mixing, blending and processing equipment offers
continuous in-line blending of ingredients.
GEA Process Engineering’s Batch Formula provides a
batch mixing platform for a wide range of products,
and GEA Courtoy tablet presses are used for making
cleaning tablets. GEA Process Engineering China
and GEA Process Engineering Ltd (UK) continuously
cooperate to provide “world-class solutions and
global deployment at efficient costs”.
GENERATE MAGAZINE ISSUE 15 9
WASTE OCCURS IN ALL SOCIETIES AND AT ALL
TImES. BUT IT IS INCREASINGLY BEING SEEN
AS A SOURCE OF EmPLOYmENT, OF BUSINESS
OPPORTUNITIES AND OF RAW mATERIALS.
GENERATE MAGAZINE ISSUE 15 11
e all know – or suspect – that the scale of
waste in our societies is enormous and
not sustainable. Yet the fact of waste is
People have thrown things away for as long
as there have been people. Middens – the
ancient equivalent of landfill sites – are
found everywhere that mankind has ever
lived, and archaeologists treat them as
treasure troves with their broken remains
of all kinds of human activity.
Waste occurs in all communities, even
the most remote. But the combination of
urbanization and industrialization has made
this issue more pressing. More people create
more waste – so there is more to be dealt
with. Increased numbers of city dwellers
need livelihoods. And industries need
materials to work with.
In the early 19th century, London was by far
the largest city in the world, and thus first to
face such urban issues. In the King’s Cross
area, where a glamorous new high-speed
railway terminal now connects London
with Paris and Brussels, there was once
a mountain of waste: horse bones, broken
glass, rags, rotting vegetables and above all
‘dust’. Immense mounds of cinders and ash
from millions of coal fires.
Sites such as this were not only the workplace
of so-called ‘scavengers’, but also a source of
wealth for their owners. The Great Dust Heap
of King’s Cross was sold to Russia in 1848 for
EUR 49,000, to make bricks for the rebuilding
of Moscow after the Napoleonic wars.
At today’s values, that is more than EUR 3.6
million, and this sale is an early example of
two universal truths. Where there’s muck
there’s money; and one man’s waste can be
another’s raw material. Today, equivalent
sites are a source of livelihood in hundreds
of cities in the developing world.
While there is little reliable data for the
numbers of waste pickers globally, the World
Bank estimated (in 1988) that between one
and two per cent of the world’s population
subsists by waste picking. A 2010 study
estimated that there are 1.5 million waste
pickers in India alone; and Brazil, which
collects official statistics on waste pickers,
estimates that nearly a quarter of a million
of its citizens engage in waste picking.
In fact, Rio de Janeiro is home to what has
been described as the world’s biggest landfill
site – Jardim Gramacho. Waste pickers there
even have their own ‘trade union’ and can
make twice the minimum wage salvaging
cans, bottles, plastics and paper. The site was
due to close in May 2012 and be turned into a
park – like New York’s former mega-dump, the
worringly named Fresh Kills, which was once
the largest man-made structure on earth.
But far and away the largest waste site in the
world is the so-called Great Pacific Garbage
Patch. Ocean currents collect waste – mainly
plastic – from all over the world, and between
Hawaii and California there is a floating sea
of debris that is twice the size of Texas.
The scale of waste today is astonishing. In
2008 (the latest year for which figures are
available) the countries of the European
Union generated more than 2.6 billion tonnes
of waste. This means 5.2 tonnes per person.
The majority of this is waste that most people
wouldn’t know they were creating – such as
from construction and demolition work,
and from mining.
Nonetheless, domestic waste in the EU in
2008 totaled over 220 million tonnes – or
almost 440 kilograms per person. Almost
half of this waste mountain is sent to landfill.
Of the remainder, a considerable amount is
recovered and most of the rest is burnt.
The EU has been active in issuing directives
that have created obligations on member
countries to recycle or recover increasing
percentages of waste, and at the same time
discouraging landfilling. As a result, the
amount of recyclables sorted and placed on
the market increased by 15 per cent between
2004 and 2009.
Although the economic benefits of recycling
are less well known than the environmental
gains, they are considerable. While precise
statistics on the numbers of people employed
in recycling in the EU are not available, a
recent European Environment Agency (EEA)
report suggests that the figure is around
300,000 – and that it increased by 45 per
cent between 2000 and 2007. The same
report found that more jobs at higher income
levels are created by recycling compared to
landfilling or incinerating waste.
Furthermore, revenues from recycling are
substantial and are growing fast. From
2004 to 2008, for example, the turnover of
the seven main categories of recyclables
(glass; paper and card; plastic; iron and
steel; copper, aluminum and nickel; precious
metals; other metals) almost doubled across
the EU to more than EUR 60 billion.
This growth is in part being driven by demand for
raw materials in the booming Asian economies.
But for some categories of material, demand
within the EU itself will so far outstrip supply
that recycling will be the only way to maintain
growth in a number of critical industries
such as information technology and certain
renewable energy systems.
countriEs with thE hiGhEst rEcyclinG rAtEs
Percentage of waste recycled
REVENUE FROM RECYCLING IS IN PART BEING
DRIVEN BY DEMAND FOR RAW MATERIALS IN
THE BOOMING ASIAN ECONOMIES.
In 2010, a European Commission working
group identified 14 raw materials,
many of them rare metals, which show a
high supply risk, and where scarcity is
expected to limit future economic and
For example, the working group found that
projected EU demand for gallium, which is
used in thin-layer photovoltaics, integrated
circuits and white light-emitting diodes,
would rise from 18 per cent of global annual
output in 2006 to 397 per cent by 2030. This
represents four times global production in
2006. And, because gallium is a by-product of
aluminum and zinc mining and processing,
production cannot be increased on the
In 2007 global output of gallium was
estimated to be just 184 tonnes – with less
than 100 tonnes from mining operations and
the rest from scrap recycling.
The world economy is also highly vulnerable
to any restriction in the supply of so-called
‘rare earths’. These are metallic elements
that are used in a wide range of hightechnology
devices including superconductors
and hard drives, hybrid cars and flat screen
TVs, solar panels and lasers. However, China
produces 97 per cent of the world’s supply –
and has been known to restrict availability for
For example, in 2010 China blocked exports
to Japan following a territorial dispute. Part
of Japan’s response was to look at ways to
reclaim the metals from existing products.
Japan’s National Institute for Materials
Science estimated that stockpiles of used
electronic goods in Japan held around
300,000 tonnes of rare earths – as well as
6,800 tonnes of gold!
However, rare metals tend to be used in
small amounts in a multitude of applications
and products. Recycling is expensive and
technically difficult, and existing recycling
infrastructures have not yet focused on this
problem – meaning that many of these
metals are lost.
“Significant challenges remain,” says the
European Environment Agency, “in improving
product design to facilitate dismantling and
improving final recycling processes.”
GENERATE MAGAZINE ISSUE 15 13
AT THE END OF 2011, THE UK GOVERNMENT
PUBLISHED A POLICY DOCUMENT ON WASTE
THAT CONTAINS SOME SHOCKING STATISTICS.
At the end of 2011, the UK Government
published a policy document on waste that
contains some shocking statistics.
Each year, Britain throws away around 16
million tonnes of food and drink. Half of this
is from households, and at least 60 per cent
of this waste is avoidable: the food could have
been eaten at some point. As well as costing
the average household EUR 588 a year, there
are significant costs to the environment of
producing, transporting and then disposing
of food that ends up being wasted. Research
suggests that 20 million tonnes of CO 2
equivalent emissions are created and
6.2 billion cubic meters of water are used
to produce food wasted by UK households.
This equals three per cent of the UK’s
domestic greenhouse gas emissions and
six per cent of its global water footprint.
AnAErobic diGEstion procEss
How it works
In landfill – where at least 40 per cent of
this food waste ends up – it degrades slowly
giving off methane, which is a greenhouse
gas 21 times more powerful than
The UK Government’s vision for tackling this
involves working to ensure that no food waste
goes to landfill, and that it is used instead for
the production of renewable energy and biofertilizer
through anaerobic digestion (AD).
Food to energy
AD is a natural process in which
microorganisms break down organic matter,
in the absence of oxygen, into biogas
(a mixture of carbon dioxide and methane)
and digestate – a nitrogen-rich, renewable
The biogas can be used directly in engines for
Combined Heat and Power (CHP), burned to
produce heat, or can be cleaned and used in
the same way as natural gas.
AD has a number of advantages over other
renewable energy technologies. The energy
is generated constantly – unlike wind, tidal or
solar power – and can be delivered to the grid
in the form of electricity or stored in the grid
5-20 days temperature dependent
90 MILLION TONNES
OF SLURRY AND
MANURES EACH YEAR.
in the form of gas. AD facilities are relatively
quick and cheap to construct and can be
scaled to local feedstock availability.
Methane is also one of the few renewable
fuels suitable for heavy goods vehicles.
The UK Government estimates that if five of
the seven million tonnes of food waste sent to
landfill were digested, it would save 386,000
tonnes of CO 2 equivalent in greenhouse
UK agriculture produces roughly 90 million
tonnes of slurry and manures each year.
According to a UK Government report half of
this, combined with the food waste digestion,
has the potential to generate approximately
3.5 TWh of electricity: enough to supply over
900,000 households and saving 1.8 million
tonnes of CO 2 equivalent from grid-based
However, there are several ‘ifs’ in this vision,
not least of which is to ensure that local
authorities provide weekly collections of food
waste. At the moment these cover three
million households in England out of 22.5
million – or just 13 per cent.
convErtinG biomAss to hEAt And powEr
In the anaerobic digestion process, plant and animal
material (biomass) is mixed with water and put inside
sealed tanks where, in the absence of air, naturally
occurring micro-organisms digest it. They generate
methane which can be used to provide heat and power.
The material left over at the end of the fermentation
process is also valuable, but needs to be dried before
it can be used.
GEA Mechanical Equipment has supplied decanters
for dewatering fermented biomass to fermentation
plants in Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Sweden, the
Netherlands and Portugal.
The digested left-overs are supplied in suspension to
a continuously operating scroll-type centrifuge, and
are decanted at between 3,000 to 4,000 times gravity.
The machine removes the solid particles and dewaters
them to a dry consistency.
The separated solids are used as a nutrient-rich
compost in gardening and agriculture, and the clear
water is recycled back into the process.
Carbon dioxide (CO 2) is a waste product from many
industries – and a damaging greenhouse gas. Around the
world there are projects seeking to use algae to capture
industrially generated CO 2 and put it to good use.
In Queensland, Australia, for example, the MBD Energy
company is using flue gases from the Tarong power
station as ‘food’ for its algal synthesizer plant. The CO 2
allows the algal biomass to double every 24 to 48 hours
– which means it can be harvested daily.
It can be used as a fertilizer, be converted into solid fuel
briquettes, or used as a feedstock for the production
Another project, at the Glenturret Distillery in Scotland
– home to The Famous Grouse whisky – percolates CO 2
made during the whisky distillation process through a
microalgae bioreactor. Each tonne of microalgae absorbs
two tonnes of CO 2.
Scottish Bioenergy, who run the project, sell the
microalgae as high value, protein-rich food for
aquaculture (fish farms) and for the dairy cattle market. In
the future, they will also use the algae residues to produce
renewable energy through anaerobic digesters.
But in order to extract the value from the algae, it needs
to be separated from the water that it is grown in, and
GEA Mechanical Equipment has a new generation of
separators specifically designed for algal biotechnology.
These separators can be used for processing small to
medium capacities of farmed algae suspension (up to
24,000 liters an hour), and producing very high levels of
GEA Process Engineering supplies GEA Niro Soavi
homogenizers for use in algal processing and GEA Niro
and GEA Barr-Rosin equipment for drying algae.
GENERATE MAGAZINE ISSUE 15 15
EducinG And rEcyclinG
The GEA Group offers world class engineering for a wide
range of industries and applications. This includes
helping to reduce waste and recycle materials.
In the dairy industry, cleaning milking systems requires
large amounts of chemicals, much of which are wasted.
But GEA Farm Technologies has developed a Green
Cleaning system that requires 75 per cent less energy to
heat water than conventional systems. It also uses less
water and creates fewer emissions. The first prototype of
this new system has been successfully tested at a dairy
farm in Australia.
Another way of tackling waste is to convert it into energy.
Through the direct combustion of waste, including
biogas from sewage sludge, waste-to-energy (WTE)
plants are generating power and/or hot air within urban
heat networks. Air cooled condensers from GEA Heat
Exchangers play an important role in WTE as they enable
steam from the power plant to be condensed and the
water reused. GEA Batignolle Technologies Thermique air
cooled condensers are widely used in small WTE power
plants because they comprise extruded aluminum finned
tubes which are highly resistant to corrosion. Several
air cooled condensers based on GEA’s proprietary Mash
technology have been supplied to utility companies in
Paris, Marseille and other major French cities, allowing
a more affordable and environmentally-friendly power
generation based on renewable energies.
GEA Renzmann & Grünwald double tube safety
heat exchangers help to save fuel costs and reduce
greenhouse gases in gas power plants by using waste
heat from the natural gas preheating process. This also
GEA Mechanical Equipment is a leading supplier of
separators and decanters for treating water, fluids
and industrial by-products. For example, in abattoirs,
fats can be recovered from animal carcasses and
used in industry or as animal feed components. The
Tuchenhagen VARICOVER Product Recovery Systems
enable customers to recover up to 99 per cent of
valuable materials from pipes. This produces less
waste water and optimizes the economic efficiency of
Energy saving and by-product recovery are key to many
of GEA Process Engineering technologies. For example,
GEA Bischoff equipment helps customers in the glass
industry to recover energy from the hot process gasses
that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.
Industrial refrigeration is another sector that can
produce large amounts of waste heat. Recovering
and recycling process heat is an area in which GEA
Refrigeration Technologies excels. For example, an
installation comprising GEA Grasso refrigeration units,
compressors and heat pumps is enabling a UK dairy to
reduce its power consumption. The heat pumps enable
all the heat emitted in the entire plant to be reused.
GEA Grasso compressors are also being used in biogas
plants, including at Zörbig, home to one of Germany’s
biggest biogas plants.
Sawdust is a well known by-product of the wood
processing industry. But operations such as belt
sanding can also produce fine particle dusts that, if
inhaled, can seriously endanger the health of workers.
Some, for example, are believed to cause nose and
lung cancers. Therefore removing them is essential.
Deichmann suction systems and Air Treatment filters
from GEA Heat Exchangers not only extract the dust,
but also recover it as a raw material rather than as
waste requiring high cost disposal.
Such material can be processed into products such
as wood pellets, which are growing in importance.
Wood pellets are extremely dense, which allows them
to be burned with a very high combustion efficiency
in electric power plants or domestic stoves. In both
Sweden and Austria they are widely used as a fuel for
central heating, and in North America production is
expected to double over the next five years.
RECLAIMING WHAT OTHERS NO LONGER WANT
CAN NOT ONLY REPRESENT A HOUSEHOLD
INCOME, BUT CAN ALSO BE A STRATEGICALLY
IMPORTANT NATIONAL INDUSTRY.
a strategically important industry
For households in Western Europe, recycling
can mean putting junk mail or soft drink
bottles into a sack for someone else to
deal with. But in some parts of the world,
reclaiming what others no longer want can
not only represent a household income, but
can also be a strategically important
Ship-breaking is one such industry. Most
ships have a lifespan of 25 – 30 years before
they have suffered so much wear that
refitting and repair becomes uneconomical –
and they are broken up.
Until the 1970s, most ship-breaking was done
in highly mechanized yards in industrialized
countries such as the United Kingdom,
Japan, and the United States. But today,
according to the World Bank, around 70 per
cent of the world’s ship-breaking capacity
is in three countries in south Asia: India,
Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The reason for the move to Asia was
low labor costs and lax controls over
environmental pollution and worker safety.
While up to 95 per cent of a ship consists of
steel, each one also contains considerable
amounts of hazardous materials: asbestos,
old-style coolants such as polychlorinated
biphenyl (PCB), lead-based paint and heavy
metals – as well as fuel oil and acids.
Removing some of the dangerous materials –
in the West – can be prohibitively expensive.
While the Indian city of Alang in Gujarat is
now the world’s largest ship-breaking center,
until 2009 an area near the Bangladeshi city
of Chittagong held that title.
Ship-breaking, south Asian-style, means
running unwanted vessels on to a beach, and
dismantling them – one piece at a time.
Recycling the steel from deconstructed ships
provides more than half of Bangladesh’s steel
needs. For Bangladesh, this is a strategically
important industry, the World Bank says.
Ship-breaking itself directly employs up to
22,000 Bangladeshis, with another 200,000
people employed in the supply chain.
On average 700 – 800 ships larger than 500
gross tonnes are scrapped each year. But
numbers fluctuate considerably. In 2009, for
example, the figure was 1,200 with a gross
tonnage of more than 25 million tonnes.
a mountain of waste
Mount Rumpke near Cincinnati, is one of the
highest points in the American state of Ohio,
rising to 319 meters above sea level.
But it is not a real mountain. It is, in fact,
the summit of one of the largest landfills in
the United States. It covers 93 hectares and
receives two million tonnes of household and
industrial waste a year.
It is also home to three methane gas recovery
facilities that together recover about 15 million
cubic feet of landfill gas a day – making it the
largest recovery operation of its kind in the
world. The energy they produce is enough to
power 25,000 homes and businesses.
waste a year
above sea level
covering the summit of
one of the largest landfills
in the United States
GENERATE MAGAZINE ISSUE 15 17
The GreaTer GorGon
fields off The coasT
of ausTralia conTain
enouGh Gas To supply
a ciTy of one million
people for 800 years.
LNG cooLiNG experts
As a market leader in industrial air cooling, GEA Heat
Exchangers plays a major role in the LNG sector,
supplying air coolers to pipelines and liquefaction
plants around the world. For example, in the US the
BG/Trunkline LNG plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana
showcases how GEA cooling technology can be
applied in the transportation and regasification
of LNG. Because these coolers use ambient air
temperatures to regasify the liquid gas, they help to
reduce costs as well as the environmental impact.
om 1918 until the 1960s the ship
ss Gorgon and its replacement, the
mV Gorgon, carried passengers and
cargo between singapore and perth in
australia. at the time these vessels played
an important role in the development of
australia’s north-west coast.
Today their name is linked to a group of
subterranean natural gas fields that will
help fuel the economy of the whole country
for the next 40 years. developing the gas
fields, including building the associated
infrastructure and a liquid natural gas
(lnG) plant, is known as the Gorgon project.
and, just like its mythological namesake,
it’s a monster. not only is this the largest
resources project in australia’s history, it’s
also the biggest single investment of its
kind in the world.
The name Gorgon comes from the Greek
word ‘gorgos’, meaning ‘terrible’ or
‘dreadful’. in Greek mythology the Gorgons
were three terrifying sisters, with poisonous
snakes for hair, who turned anyone who
met their gaze into stone. over the centuries
people carved Gorgon images on buildings
and objects as a way of warding off evil.
considering the potential perils of sailing
on the high seas, this is probably how the ss
Gorgon got its name. as if to continue this
theme of repelling threats, the ship’s crew
even named a potentially hazardous reef off
australia’s coast the ‘Gorgon patch’.
it’s actually from this reef that the Gorgon
project gets its name. The Gorgon gas
field was discovered in 1981 and further
exploration revealed ten more fields.
collectively known as the Greater Gorgon
area, these 11 fields contain some 40
trillion cubic feet of gas – enough to supply
energy to a city populated by one million
people for 800 years.
The pipelines linking the gas fields to Barrow
island will be installed at between 1,000
and 1,400 meters below sea level. at these
depths they will be exposed to freezing
temperatures, resulting in condensation
in the pipes. salt water and corrosion also
prevent pipelines from running smoothly.
in these circumstances it’s usual to inject
mono-ethylene glycol (meG) into the pipes. as
The Gorgon project is a joint venture involving
the australian subsidiaries of six major
energy companies. Together they are investing
eur 30 billion. from 2014 the project is
expected to process 15 million tonnes of
lnG a year for export. it will also supply 300
terajoules of domestic gas a day to Western
australia and create thousands of jobs.
well as being an antifreeze meG also absorbs
salt water and corrosive particles. however,
as the meG absorbs these damaging
substances, its quality deteriorates.
Gea mechanical equipment is supplying
the answer to this problem in the shape of
three direct-drive Wsd 200 separators. The
contract was awarded by aker solutions,
the company responsible for gas processing
lines for the Gorgon project. The machines,
due to be commissioned at the end of 2012,
will effectively remove unwanted substances
located 130 kilometers off australia’s northwest
coast, the Greater Gorgon fields lie on
a continental shelf at depths ranging from
200 to 1,400 meters. The gas will be piped to
a processing factory on Barrow island, the
nearest landmass, situated 70 kilometers
from the mainland. here it will be cooled
into a liquid state before being pumped to
a four-kilometer-long loading jetty. from
there giant tankers will transport the lnG to
international markets. Gas for the domestic
market will be piped direct to the mainland.
from the meG, such as rust particles and
salt crystals. as an added precaution, the
separators are tightly sealed and nitrogen
purged to prevent the meG from coming
into contact with oxygen, while the super
duplex steel centrifuge bowls are corrosionresistant.
The separators, which are of the
space-saving direct-drive design, are supplied
in a plug-and-play style complete unit. a
further separator will be installed to process
the meG for the neighboring Jansz field.
according to the website of one of the energy
joint venture partners, the global net impact
of using Gorgon lnG “will result in about
45 million tonnes less greenhouse gas
emissions, when comparing against coal”.
The equivalent would be reducing the number
of vehicles on australia’s roads by two thirds.
The Gorgon joint venture is keeping its own
house in order by capturing co 2 and storing
it underground. This will reduce the project’s
co 2 emissions by up to 40 per cent. in
addition, a strict quarantine regime has been
established to protect Barrow island’s class a
nature reserve status.
as the cleanest burning fossil fuel natural
gas balances the need for energy with
environmental considerations. The
international energy agency predicts that,
by 2030, global demand for natural gas will
have grown by more than 67 per cent. But
in asia-pacific that figure could be as high
as 150 per cent. The Gorgon project is in a
prime location for meeting the needs of its
neighbors. it would seem that, from shipping
to gas resources, the name Gorgon will
forever be linked with australia’s economic
success rather than snake-haired monsters.
GENERATE MAGAZINE ISSUE 15 19
Gilles Grimaud TAkES
Generate BEHIND THE
SCENES OF A BONDUELLE
REFRIGERATION AND AIR
HAVE BROUGHT SIGNIFICANT
Refrigeration systems from GEA
Refrigeration France keep the
Bonduelle cold-storage plant at
the right temperature.
GENERATE MAGAZINE ISSUE 15 21
The Bonduelle Group is a world-leading
supplier of canned and frozen vegetables, sold
in 80 countries. It also produces packs of salad
for the European market and fresh vegetables,
mainly for the French market.
Estrées-Mons in northern France is where
the group’s biggest plant is located. Here the
company cans and freezes locally-grown peas,
carrots, green beans, Brussels sprouts, leeks,
spinach, potatoes and courgettes. The cold
store also receives products, particularly corn,
from other Bonduelle plants in South West
France, Spain, Portugal and Poland.
Poisgourmand is one of many frozen products
that Bonduelle produce.
In 2008 Bonduelle embarked on a project to
modernize and expand the freezing facility
to make it more competitive and save
on energy. Former Plant Engineer Gilles
Grimaud project managed the building of a
new high-bay, fully automated, cold store
which began operations in 2011. He has
since been made responsible for energy
saving at all Bonduelle’s 50 plants.
Q. What did the project involve?
a. As project manager I was responsible
for construction, logistics and software.
We started planning in October 2008 and
construction began a year later. By the
autumn of 2010 we began installing the
conveying systems and, six months later,
were ready to take the first pallet of frozen
products. A key part of the project was linking
the GDE ERP (enterprise resource planning)
software, which contains orders from our
customers, with the PIC microcontrollers
and Ulma packaging systems so that all the
systems ‘speak’ to each other automatically.
Over five months we gradually transferred
from the old to the new storage facility,
which has now been fully operational since
September 2011. The project involved people
from different specialties, from ten different
companies, working together to create
Q. How does it compare with the old system?
a. Previously we had just five levels of
shelving and goods were moved by forklift
truck. The new building is 38 meters high,
45 meters wide and 85 meters long – a total
capacity of 145,000m³. It has 14 levels of
shelving which hold a total of 23,000 pallets,
each containing several boxes of frozen goods,
and there are 700 different products. Pallets
are lifted on and off the shelves by six storage
and retrieval robots. Everything is fully
automatic and we know exactly where each
pallet is. The pallets are transported between
the shelves and the loading bays via a Daifuku
sorting and conveyor system. From the
loading bays they are forklifted onto trucks
and delivered throughout Europe. During a
ten-hour period1,500 pallets will be moved
in and out of the store and we ship 200,000
pallets a year, which is 120,000 tonnes.
Q. Are these systems unique to Bonduelle?
a. No, other companies have similar
automatic storage systems. But what is
unique to us is the pick and place robot.
Orders are received at noon, processed by
computer and then from 6pm to 6am the
robot automatically picks and packs the
Q. How do you maintain the correct
a. The temperature is kept at -18ºC,
the same as your freezer at home. GEA
Refrigeration France, who we have worked
with for 20 years, installed two screw type
ammonia refrigeration units that provide
suction temperatures down to -28°C. What is
really useful is that, instead of the horizontal
air flow that you usually have in cold stores,
GEA provided air coolers with evaporator
coils designed to circulate the air vertically
which ensures that all levels of the storage
unit are at the correct temperature. The
coolers have frequency inverters that control
the speed of the fans to balance the level of
This configuration from GEA saved a lot of
energy. Consumption used to be around 35
kilowatts per hour per cubic meter per year.
Now it is only 12-15 kilowatts.
Q. What other energy-saving measures have
a. To prevent the ground from freezing you
need to heat it underneath. Glycol is injected
into an underground pipe at 20°C and when
it comes back it is only 12°C so we can reuse
it in the air conditioning system. Another
energy-saving feature is the double doors
linking the loading bays to the cold store.
Q. Are there any specific safety features?
a. We have reduced the percentage of oxygen
in the cold store by adding nitrogen. The
normal atmosphere contains 21 per cent
oxygen but in the freezer it is 18 per cent, the
same as 2,000 meters above sea level. Lower
oxygen levels reduce the chance of fire.
Q. Overall what are the benefits of the
a. It’s made us more competitive, it requires
fewer people and we can give trucks an
appointment for loading, which is better for
them. And our energy costs are down from
EUR 360,000 to EUR 120,000.
GENERATE MAGAZINE ISSUE 15 23
he rise in numbers of middle-class
Chinese and other Asian working mothers
has dramatically increased the take-up of
infant formula in the region – which accounts
for 53 per cent of the global market. China’s
‘tainted baby milk’ scandals in 2008 and
2010 have led to many families only trusting
imported formula. This has made the area a
prime target for investment by Western baby
The picture in Europe is slightly different. In
the Uk, for example, 74 per cent of mothers
in late 2011 were initiating breastfeeding
shortly after birth, showing a steady annual
rise since 2008. But at 6 – 8 weeks that figure
had dropped to just 47 per cent. So while
‘breast is best’ campaigns might be slowly
growing in influence, many mothers are
simply unable to continue. And, by the target
six-month stage, less than 25 per cent are
So why do so many opt out? Other than
practical considerations for working women,
many increasingly see bottle feeding as
a way of sharing the responsibility and
encouraging fathers and grandparents to
bond with the baby. There may be physical
or health difficulties such as insufficient
lactation, babies reluctant to feed or risks
provoked by the mother’s diet, social habits
or ill-health. And, in the modern world, it
often boils down to simple preference.
Historically, mothers who couldn’t
breastfeed employed a wet nurse. By the
early 19th century wet nurses were losing
popularity in Europe and the US, as families
experimented with mixtures based on animal
milk. The invention of the India-rubber
nipple by New Yorker Elijah Pratt in 1845
was a milestone in the use of home-made
alternative baby milk. Unfortunately, though,
the rubber taste put more discerning babies
off their bottled dinner.
Soon afterwards, in 1867, German chemist
Justus von Liebig developed the world’s first
commercial infant formula, eponymously
named Liebig’s Soluble Food for Babies.
It contained wheat flour, cow’s milk, malt
flour and potassium bicarbonate. Its success
spawned a host of competitors: mellin’s
Infant Food, Ridge’s Food for Infants and
Nestlé’s Baby milk.
But the medical profession had quality
concerns. Instead of risking a baby’s health
in the unproven territory of manufactured
formulas, it recommended home-made
alternatives that followed strict guidelines.
Among them was American pediatrician
Thomas morgan Rotch’s ‘percentage
method’, very popular at the start of the 20th
century. Parents were advised to mix cow’s
milk, water, cream, and sugar or honey in
specific ratios. In both the US and Europe
these do-it-yourself mixtures were believed
to be healthier and, of course, saved money.
As the industrialized nations moved
steadily away from breastfeeding, scientists
continued to analyze the essential qualities
of breast milk and formulas were constantly
modified in an attempt to match human milk
as closely as possible.
Today, formulas are designed to be based on
human milk at roughly one to three months
after birth. key ingredients include purified
cow’s milk. Pure cow’s milk is unsuitable
because a young baby’s intestine is not able
to digest the high casein content, which may
also strain the kidneys. To prevent this the
whey-to-casein protein balance is altered to
match human milk more closely. Vegetable
or marine-origin fats replace animal fats,
and lactose is used as a carbohydrate
source – though this is often partly or
completely replaced by hydrolyzed starch or
maltodextrin for easier digestion. Vitamins
and minerals are also added.
The ingredients of infant formulas are now
heavily regulated. In 2001 the World Health
Organization introduced Codex Alimentarius
standards which have to be met. These
include minimum and maximum levels of
named ingredients, as well as prohibited
items. Variations have been developed, to
take account of allergies and particular
requirements. So-called ‘second stage’
or ‘follow-on’ milks containing less whey
and more casein are considered a suitable
alternative for older babies. Soy-based baby
formula is sometimes recommended for
those with an allergy to cow’s milk, and
there are even special formulas for
For all the benefits of breast milk, what
is beyond doubt is that many mothers,
regardless of nationality or social standing,
are opting for infant formula. Of some 136
million babies born each year, 92 million
are not breastfed exclusively for the first six
months. The reliability of formula, therefore,
has never been more important.
thE riGht FormulA
The composition of infant formula has been developed to
be as close as possible to that of mother’s milk. Although
the major producers have their individual recipes, the
formulas all require superior technology.
GEA Process Engineering is the leader in state-of-the-art
infant formula factories. Previous projects include the first
fully automatic baby food plant in Chile for Nestlé and
a major expansion of Danone Baby Nutrition’s production
plant in the Republic of Ireland. Vinamilk, Vietnam’s
leading dairy products manufacturer, placed a EUR 30
million order for two complete dairy processing lines for
the production of infant formula. It was Vinamilk’s biggest
single investment in dairy processing equipment.
A key part of these infant formula plants is the marketleading
GEA Niro spray dryers. GEA Process Engineering
is also renowned for the GEA Nu-Con and GEA Avapac
high speed handling and filling lines. These world-class
technologies enable a wide range of powdered products,
including infant formula, to be packaged quickly
GENERATE MAGAZINE ISSUE 15 25
AIR POLLUTION HAS BEEN ONE OF THE
DOWNSIDES OF INDUSTRIALIZATION BUT
TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES ARE WORkING
TO mITIGATE ITS HARmFUL EFFECTS.
n December 1952 London was smothered
by a fog so dense that it brought the city to a
standstill for four days.
Initially, there appeared to be no real cause
for concern as Londoners were accustomed
to the post-Industrial Revolution fogs caused
when smoke from factories and coal fires
mixed with the damp mists from the river
Thames. These fogs were such a regular
occurrence during the winter months that
they gave the city the nickname ‘The Smoke’.
But the ‘Great Smog’ of 1952 has gone
down in history as the worst incidence of
air pollution in the Uk. The combination of
extreme cold and an anticyclone prevented the
smoke from dispersing into the atmosphere.
This unusual weather phenomenon effectively
acted as a lid, trapping the warm smoke – and
its impurities – beneath a layer of cold air.
The human cost was heavy. medical reports
at the time estimated that 4,000 people died
as a result of breathing in the toxic fumes
and 100,000 more suffered from respiratory
illnesses. The Government responded
by introducing clean air legislation. This,
together with the widespread use of
electricity and gas for domestic heating,
instead of coal, has made the notorious
London fogs a thing of the past.
However, the battle for clean air is far from
over. London, like most major cities around
the world, suffers from air pollution, caused
mainly by vehicle exhaust and emissions from
power plants and industrial processes. The
pollutants generally include carbon dioxide,
carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and sulfur
oxides which can be extremely hazardous
both to health and to the environment.
Tiny particles of these pollutants – measuring
up to ten micrometers and termed Pm10s
– can penetrate the lungs and bloodstream,
causing respiratory and heart diseases.
The World Health Organization (WHO)
estimates that more than a million people
die every year as a result of inhaling Pm10s.
In its latest air quality guidelines the WHO
recommends that the average annual
exposure to Pm10s should be no higher than
20 micrograms per cubic meter. But most
cities exceed this level. For example, London
averages 29, New York 21 and Paris 38.
On the plus side, a growing awareness about
the health and environmental impact of air
pollution has spurred governments around
the globe to enforce ever more stringent
regulations to clean and reduce the gas
emissions from coal-fired power plants and
The most common methods for removing
particle-bound pollutants are electrostatic
precipitators (ESPs), which remove particles
through an electrostatic charge, and fabric
filters where the particles are removed
in a number of filter bags. For gas formic
pollutants the most common method is wet
scrubbing, where the gas is sprayed with an
Clean air pioneers
GEA Process Engineering has pioneered
emission control systems for more than a
century. It built its first ESP in 1913 and the
precipitator sizing equation developed by
one of the company’s laboratory staff for
designing ESPs is still valid today. Worldwide,
the company has supplied more than 15,000
GEA Bischoff gas cleaning systems to iron and
steel, non-ferrous metal, glass and cement,
as well as chemical industries and fluid
catalytic cracking (FCC) plants in refineries.
Unique to the GEA Process Engineering
portfolio is the GEA Niro spray drying
absorption (SDA) process. Originally
developed in the 1970s, SDA has been
adopted by fossil-fuelled power stations,
waste incinerators and steel plants around
the world for removing acidic pollutants,
heavy metal particles and dust from flue
gases. SDA consists of an absorber chamber
with a central rotary atomizer followed by
a downstream dust collector: lime is used
as an absorbent and the SDA process can
remove up to 99 per cent of pollutants –
well above legislative targets.
Another advantage is that the process
generates no waste water. “Instead we
have a stable and dry end product which
can be used as a filler, in road construction
and sometimes as a fertilizer,” says Niels
Jacobsen, manager of Air Pollution Control at
GEA Process Engineering’s Chemical Division.
SDA is now in big demand, particularly in
China where it is helping to meet the targets
for cutting sulfur dioxide emissions. “It is one
of the preferred technologies in China for
sinter plants in the iron and steel industry,”
Jacobsen explains. “The market there has
been growing fast over the last two to three
years and we have now supplied SDA to 20
“Over the years we have developed the
technology and also increased the size of the
equipment. Whereas in the 1980s we would
have up to eight SDAs at a big power plant,
today there only need to be two.”
GEA Process Engineering achieved another
emission control milestone in 2011. It
installed a Bischoff low dust denitrification
(DeNOx) system at a German cement
factory, worldwide the first of its kind
within that industry. About 300,000m³/h
waste gas flow through 70m³ of catalyst
material in which the NOx load of the gas is
converted into nitrogen and water by means
of selective catalytic reduction (SCR). The
catalytic process requires increasing the
gas temperature from 150°C to 250°C which
is achieved by an Ecoflex heat exchanger
from GEA Heat Exchangers and a waste
heat recovery and transfer system from
another part of the plant. For this efficient
energy management an “Energy Efficiency
Award” was given to the plant operator by
dena, Deutsche Energie-Agentur (German
Energy Agency). “This is an example of how
our solutions are also energy efficient,” says
Thomas Falkenbach, manager Emission
Control at GEA Process Engineering.
Developments such as these are ensuring
that industries comply with emission
regulations now and in the future – and that
will help everyone to breathe more easily.
GENERATE MAGAZINE ISSUE 15 27
HOW MANAGING A
SALES AREA THAT
SPANS THE GLOBE IS
ALL IN A DAY’S WORK
FOR GEA MECHANICAL
Ann Cuylaerts with a GEA
Mechanical Equipment dairy
plant where milk separation is
a key part of the process.
hey say that variety is the spice of
life and it certainly gives added
flavor to Ann Cuylaerts’ role as Vice
President of International Sales for GEA
Not only does the job involve worldwide
travel, it also covers a broad range of
industries. “Our products have many
different applications and in different
markets so it’s never boring,” she says.
“No two days are the same and even after
18 years with the company, I’m still learning
Cuylaerts is responsible for sales of
Westfalia Separator centrifuges, decanters
and separators. This includes managing
the sales teams in the local subsidiary
companies and co-ordinating the work
of the eight business line teams based at
the head office in Oelde, Germany. They
represent the main sectors where
the company’s products are applied:
Beverage Technology, Chemicals/
Pharmaceuticals, Dairy, Energy,
Environmental Technology, Marine,
Oil & Gas and Renewable Resources.
Cuylaerts, who has a background in
biochemical engineering, joined the
company in 1994 as a sales engineer at the
Belgian subsidiary. She was later promoted
to Sales Manager and then Managing
Director, before moving to her current
position at head office 18 months ago.
“All of these markets have different
requirements and our products are designed
to meet the specific needs of each industry,”
“These experiences have really helped
prepare me for my current job,” she
explains. “Being a biochemical engineer
I know how our machines work and the
processes for which they are used. Also
because I’ve been involved in local sales
I understand what the sales teams have
to cope with and the needs of the
She believes strongly in face-to-face
meetings with sales staff and customers,
which means spending around 25 per cent
of her time on the road. “Every country
has its own special way of doing things,”
Cuylaerts says. “By visiting customers I
learn more in two days than during a whole
week in the office.”
Her big challenge in 2012 is the launch of a
second product range to meet the increasing
demand for standard solutions, particularly
in Asia and other emerging markets. She
explains that although GEA Mechanical
Equipment is widely regarded as marketleading
technology, it can be too specialist
for companies requiring more standard
equipment on a smaller scale. The new range
would meet an important need and ensure
the company doesn’t “miss the boat” to
taking advantage of a growing sector.
Having achieved a senior position, Cuylaerts
is keen to inspire others to achieve their
potential. “The thing I like most about
managing people is encouraging them to
behave in an entrepreneurial way,” she says.
“Seeing them evolve and grow in their jobs
gives me the most satisfaction.”
Outside work she likes nothing better than
to spend time with her family, especially at
their holiday home in Provence, France.
GENERATE MAGAZINE ISSUE 15 29
These unusual shapes are, literally,
cutting-edge technology. They are spiral
rotating knives for cutting ice and are
essential components of GEA Refrigeration
Technologies’ Geneglace ice machines. The
machines are used extensively in a variety
of sectors, including the fishing industry,
leisure centers, zoos and food production as
well as concrete and chemical industries.
GEA Refrigeration Technologies is the leading
European manufacturer of ice machines,
offering more than 40 models in different
sizes. The machines can produce flake ice.
Daily ice capacity of the GEA Geneglace ice
machines is between 200 kilograms and 50
tonnes, depending on the equipment type.
They are available alone or as compact
ice machines with so-called ice packs.
GENERATE MAGAZINE ISSUE 15 31
chillinG nAturAlly At russiAn bobslEd trAcK
The bobsled track in Krasnaya Polyana is the first sports
facility in Russia to be equipped with an ammoniabased
It was installed by GEA Refrigeration Technologies as
part of a contract awarded by NPO Mostovik of Omsk,
one of Russia’s largest construction companies. The
contract included project engineering for the complete
refrigeration facilities, delivery and installation of the
refrigeration equipment, construction of the machine
room and laying four kilometers of ammonia piping
along the bobsled track.
The project was completed in time for an international
bobsled competition, held in March 2012.
GEA to build world’s lArGEst sprAy dryEr
GEA Process Engineering has received an order worth
more than EUR 70 million from Fonterra in New Zealand
to build the world’s largest spray dryer.
The project covers milk reception, standardization,
evaporation, drying, powder transport and packing.
When completed in August 2013 it will have the capacity
to produce 30 tonnes per hour of whole milk powder,
equivalent to more than 4.4 million liters of milk per day.
“GEA Process Engineering has been in the business of
developing and supplying dairy spray dryers for nearly
80 years now and we see dairy as one of our most
important markets,” says Niels Erik Olsen, Executive Vice
President and Segment Board Member at GEA Process
Engineering. “We are continuing to focus on innovation
and see this milestone order as proof of our leading
Fonterra is a world-leading exporter of dairy products,
processing around 90 per cent of New Zealand’s milk.
The products from the new plant will service the growing
markets in the Middle East, South East Asia and China,
where demand for milk powder products is rising.
GEA sEpArAtors to boost GrEEn shippinG linE
GEA Mechanical Equipment is to supply 160 eagleclass
separators to the Korean company Daewoo Shipbuilding
& Marine Engineering. They will operate on the 20
Triple-E container ships of A.P. Moeller Maersk shipping
line, due to be launched between the end of 2013
Triple-E stands for economy of scale, energy efficiency
and environmentally improved. With their reduced
energy consumption, lower space requirement and better
cost-to-performance ratio, the eagleclass separators
will make an important contribution to the ships’ green
credentials. The separators are fitted with unitrolplus
sensors that automatically monitor and control oil
regeneration. This ensures optimum separation, minimal
oil losses and reduced discharge.
At 400 meters long, 59 meters wide and 73 meters high
the Triple-E container ships will be the largest in the
world. They will run between Asia and Europe, producing
50 per cent fewer CO2 emissions per container moved
than the industry average for that route.
FArmviEw KEEps An EyE on milKinG robots
A new early warning and remote maintenance system is
enabling GEA Farm Technologies to offer round-the-clock
support to customers of its Mlone milking robots.
Called FarmView, the service comprises an innovative
web portal that remotely observes the performance of
these robots around the world and transmits the Mlone’s
data via the internet to the web server. It identifies
any irregularities in performance and can correct the
settings remotely, reducing downtimes.
All Mlone robots are fitted with mGuard security
hardware which protects them against being accessed
by third parties through the internet.
coolinG thE EnErGy-EFFiciEnt wAy
GEA Refrigeration Technologies is one of nine partners
from six EU countries to sign up to COOL-SAVE.
The project aims to improve the energy efficiency of
refrigeration in the food and beverage industry. As well
as promoting technical developments, COOL-SAVE will
focus on overcoming the financial, cultural and legal
barriers to energy savings.
GEA Refrigeration Technologies will be responsible
for analyzing a selected number of food and
beverage refrigeration facilities, using a special
COOL-SAVE will publish its findings through trade
and sector associations and issue guidelines for improving
the efficiency of refrigeration equipment to around 2,000
food and beverage companies throughout Europe.
nEw plAtE typE incrEAsEs sAFEty
A high pressure-resistant plate heat exchanger
developed by GEA Heat Exchangers will help to improve
safety in the process industry, particularly in the
chemical and energy sector.
The GEA high-performance NH350 plate is designed to
withstand pressures up to 36 bars. It is also fitted with
EcoLoc gaskets that can be replaced quickly and easily.
This keeps production downtime to a minimum during
In addition, the GEA NH350 is equipped with a PosLoc
system that ensures optimum positioning of the heat
exchanger plates to increase reliability during operation.
The OptiWave design ensures that the whole width of the
plate is used to achieve the maximum heat transfer.
GENERATE is the magazine of
the GEA Group. Published twice
per year, it is distributed across
GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft
RESPONSIblE fOR EdITORIAl cONTENT
Cover, feature: Will Thom
Page 4-5: Will Thom
Page 20-23: James Bell
Page 28-29: Chris Moyse
Page 30-31: Sarah Hamann
GEA exclusively uses paper from
certified sustainable forests.
© 2012 by GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft,
Peter-Müller-Str. 12, 40468 Düsseldorf,
Germany. Reprinting only with the
permission of the publisher. The contents
do not necessarily reflect the opinion of
For any questions or suggestions contact:
All former issues of GENERATE will be found
on www.gea.com or scan below.