03/03/2022 | Process Innovation

Interview with Ulrik Lund Jakobsen | GEA

The phrase, You create the chemistry – we make it reality has a catchy ring to it. But what does it really mean in practice? Ahead of GEA’s ACHEMA appearance, Ulrik Lund Jacobsen explains.

Ulrik Lund Jakobsen is responsible for GEA’s Powder and Thermal Separation Technologies. At ACHEMA, he and his colleagues will be presenting sustainable solutions, particularly in the areas of mobility, CO2 reduction, and the circular economy. The company has declared goals of wating to remain the benchmark for sustainable, technical solutions, while defending its position at the top of the table in process technology, and opening up new markets.

ACHEMA Inspire: You create chemistry – we make it a reality is your campaign message as we approach ACHEMA 2022. But is it also a promise to customers?

  • __Ulrik Lund Jakobsen: A clear ‘yes’. Beyond that, I would like to formulate another goal: We aspire to shape the future with our partners and customers. We call it ‘Transforming tomorrow’. With our innovations, but also experience based on ideas and hints from our customers, we develop optimal solutions for every requirement. Feel free to challenge us!

ACHEMA Inspire: The fact that you have been a global player in these markets for a long time certainly helps, doesn’t it?

  • __Ulrik Lund Jakobsen: Our innovations are the result of decades of research and the competencies we have acquired as a result. Our dedicated engineers, pilot plants and laboratories provide good conditions for discovering new solutions together with our customers. The plants developed by and for us are designed for longevity. In a changing world, we see Customer Lifecycle Support as essential to provide updates and the optimisation needed to each customer.

ACHEMA Inspire: GEA now occupies a top position within process technology and process solutions. In view of that, what do you see as the drivers of the future?

  • __Ulrik Lund Jakobsen: For me, these are the topics of digitalisation and service. We have been dealing with the topic of Industry 4.0 for a long time. Our specialists are among the pioneers of the “digital twin”. We also see promising Industry 4.0 approaches for the service sector. I think it’s also important that we look at ourselves as GEA. I see a lot of motivation and great teamwork across all applications, areas and countries.

ACHEMA Inspire: Precisely, where does GEA fulfil its sustainability agenda?

  • __Ulrik Lund Jakobsen: In particular, the Powder and Thermal Separation Business Unit, for which I am responsible, has implemented several strategic projects in the areas of mobility, circular economy, and CO2 reduction. We will present these at ACHEMA 2022. The keyword here is mobility. Our technologies for separation, evaporation, crystallisation, drying, and others play a key role in the production process of lithium compounds and battery materials around the world.

    We recently received orders for several lithium hydroxide plants in Europe and Asia, built spodumene processing lines in Australia, and lithium brine processing lines in South America. GEA is also a world leader in powder spray drying for battery materials. Again, our ability to customise processes in our pilot plants puts us in a strong position to contribute to this trend.

ACHEMA Inspire: Besides mobility, how do you cover the second core topic of your ACHEMA appearance, the circular economy?

  • __Ulrik Lund Jakobsen: With our technology solutions for powder and thermal separation, we have established a firm place among fermentation-based applications such as the production of basic materials for bioplastics, the production of bulk and intermediate products from wood- or straw-based materials, and food additives such as citric acid and amino acids. All of them are produced from different types of renewable raw materials.

ACHEMA Inspire: And then there are the GEA solutions for CO2 reduction…

  • __Ulrik Lund Jakobsen: We offer a comprehensive range of energy-optimised processes and energy recovery solutions for the process industry. With solutions such as greenhouse gas emissions treatment, carbon capture and energy recovery from waste heat, we help our customers achieve their goals by reducing their carbon footprint and optimising their energy consumption.

ACHEMA Inspire: So can customers benefit from your solutions from anywhere?

  • __Ulrik Lund Jakobsen: As a global player, we are close to our customers – worldwide. What they appreciate are our strong national subsidiaries. They ensure support for our customers and interested parties – both in terms of technological solutions and service. In this way, we all work together to ensure that GEA is the reliable partner for the entire product life cycle.


Richard Burton

Editor / World Show Media


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