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 Group Aktiengesellschaft

Peter-Müller-Str. 12

40468 Düsseldorf


Tel. +49 211 9136-0



Welcome to the fifteenth issue

of GENERATE, published by GEA

Group Aktiengesellschaft.

Dear Readers,

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

process heat.

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

energy source.

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


Jürg Oleas

Chief Executive Officer

GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft


GEA innovation is helping to

capture the desert sun



From soap to household detergents,

cleaning products are part of daily life


Energy-saving refrigeration


Variety is the spice of life for GEA

Mechanical Equipment’s Ann Cuylaerts







How cheese conquered

the world


The global waste challenge


Getting the formula

right for babies


Cutting the ice


Accurate slicing of

cheese with holes


Undersea gas field is a monster


Keeping the air clean


Global news from GEA


The world’s deserTs

receive more energy

from The sun in

six hours Than The

planeT’s populaTion

uses in a year. could

harnessing The

power of The deserT

sun provide The

long-Term soluTion

To meeTing global

energy needs?

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

Dhabi roads.

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

Shams One.

“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

solar energy.”

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.

Cooling first

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.






10,000 YEARS, IT





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

the Uk.

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.

Production shift

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

farming practises.

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.

Huge variety

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!




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.

Slicing cheese

with holes

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.










leanliness is next to godliness” is a wellknown

phrase used by mothers around

the world to encourage their children to

bathe regularly.

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.

Soap operas

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”.








e all know – or suspect – that the scale of

waste in our societies is enormous and

not sustainable. Yet the fact of waste is

not new.

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.

rich pickings

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.

recycling drive

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

Switzerland 52%

Germany 48%

Norway 40%

USA 31.5%

Austria 49.7%

Netherlands 46%

Sweden 34%




rare metals

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

technological development.

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

necessary scale.

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

political reasons.

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.”






Food waste

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

carbon dioxide.

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

First phase:






second phase:






5-20 days temperature dependent

Methane and

carbon dioxide


Low odor








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

gas emissions.

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

electricity production.

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.

cApturinG cArbon

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

of biodiesel.

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

dry matter.

GEA Process Engineering supplies GEA Niro Soavi

homogenizers for use in algal processing and GEA Niro

and GEA Barr-Rosin equipment for drying algae.


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

improves efficiency.

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

production plants.

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.

dAmAGinG dust

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.





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

national industry.

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.

Unwanted vessels

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.

mount rumpKE

2 million

tonnes of


and industrial

waste a year

319 mEtErs

above sea level

cincinnAti, ohio

93 hEctArEs

covering the summit of

one of the largest landfills

in the United States



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

Joint venture

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.

Unwanted substances

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.



Gilles Grimaud TAkES









Refrigeration systems from GEA

Refrigeration France keep the

Bonduelle cold-storage plant at

the right temperature.



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

something special.

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

storage temperature?

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

cold required.

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

you used?

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

new system?

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.


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

milk producers.

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

still breastfeeding.

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

premature babies.

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

and hygienically.







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.

industrial emissions

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

industrial sites.

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

alkaline liquid.

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

sinter plants.

“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.









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

Mechanical Equipment.

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

new things.”

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,”

she explains.

“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

various markets.”

big challenge

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.



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.


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

refrigeration plant.

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

technological position.”

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

and 2015.

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

simulation model.

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

the world.



GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft

Peter-Müller-Str. 12

40468 Düsseldorf



Isabel Blank


Cover, feature: Will Thom

Page 4-5: Will Thom

Page 20-23: James Bell

Page 28-29: Chris Moyse

Page 30-31: Sarah Hamann

PROducEd by






cOPy dESk

Lang Communications


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

the publisher.


For any questions or suggestions contact:



All former issues of GENERATE will be found

on www.gea.com or scan below.

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