BENEO reduces CO2 emissions at Wijgmaal Plant

Published: 3-Apr-2024

Novel heat pump technology will recover energy from waste water towards more sustainable production

BENEO, a global manufacturer of functional ingredients for food, feed and pharma, has installed new equipment to enhance sustainability practices at its rice ingredients plant in Wijgmaal, Belgium. 

Thanks to a large-scale industrial heat pump supplied by Heaten, the company will be able to recover energy from waste water to reduce its CO2 emissions.

Manufacturing specialty rice ingredients involves both a wet extraction operation and a drying process, which requires very high temperatures. Currently, the energy for the drying process is derived from natural gas. 

By investing into an industrial heat pump that recovers energy from waste water that would have otherwise been lost, BENEO continues to improve its sustainable energy management. Thanks to state-of-the-art technology used by the heat pump, the energy from the waste water is increased to a level that is high enough to contribute to the drying process of rice starch or rice protein. 

In this way, the new installation will help to significantly reduce the company’s natural gas consumption, and therefore CO2 emissions. BENEO has been collaborating with the company Heaten as an experienced partner in industrial heat pumps to improve the sustainability of its overall production process.

“Installing the heat pump represents an important sustainability milestone for us at BENEO as it will help us to reduce COemissions which is key to mitigating our overall impact on the planet. We’ve spent several months installing heat exchangers and additional piping at our Wijgmaal factory, with the heat pump expected to be operational in June 2024,” explained Roland Vanhoegaerden, Operations Managing Director, Specialty Rice Ingredients at BENEO.

The heat pump is the latest in a series of examples of more sustainable energy management at BENEO. Energy consumption inside the plant has already been made as efficient as possible through the installation of frequency converters and BENEO buys 100% green electricity from its supplier. 

The company has also significantly reduced carbon emissions generated from transport, after halving its inland European freight movement from road to river.




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