Trade press release

Time for Heroes at IFAT Munich: GEA presents decanter and new granulator for economical operation of wastewater treatment plants

30 May 2022

Operators of municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants are concerned with high and rising energy and disposal costs. At IFAT Munich, the world's leading trade fair for environmental technologies from May 30 to June 3, the machinery and plant manufacturer and solution provider GEA will be displaying how state-of-the-art decanter centrifuges can be used to operate sludge treatment in wastewater treatment plants efficiently and economically.

Will be on show at IFAT Munich: the GEA biosolids Decanter pro 3200. (Photo: GEA)

Will be on show at IFAT Munich: the GEA biosolids Decanter pro 3200. (Photo: GEA)

Compared to older models, new GEA decanters enable energy savings of more than 50 percent, a lower CO2 footprint during operation, and a 20 percent reduction in disposal costs. GEA is showing this with two exhibits on its stand. These will compare a modern GEA biosolids Decanter pro 3200 with the UCA 365 decanter from 1962. The GEA booth is located in Hall A1 (A1.451).

GEA will also present the new GEA biosolids Granulator. This is an innovative dry-on-demand solution for the treatment of sewage sludge from municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants. The new GEA biosolids Granulator combines centrifuge-based dewatering with proven drying technology. The end product opens up additional recycling options for the end user, for example in agriculture, composting or incineration as fuel or fuel additive. The system is thus suitable for operators of wastewater treatment plants with limited disposal and recycling capacities who want to future-proof their processes in terms of circular economy, sustainability, and ecological footprint.

The comprehensive repair network for decanters and corresponding repair workshops will also be presented at the GEA booth.

GEA also relies on environmentally friendly circular economy for stand construction

GEA attaches great importance to environmentally friendly recycling management in stand construction. This means that the stand components, such as furniture, can be reused for further trade fairs. The carpet can also be easily recycled after the trade show.

Dry substance content, energy consumption, maintenance and polymer consumption are key cost drivers

For all types of disposals, i.e. incineration, landfilling and agricultural utilization, the optimum economic dewatering of sewage sludge is a key technology. Central cost drivers in sludge thickening and dewatering are dry substance content, energy consumption, maintenance, and polymer consumption.

The basic idea is that less sewage sludge to be disposed of saves transport costs, reduces energy consumption for drying and incineration, and reduces CO2 emissions. Since the machines are in almost continuous use in many applications, the energy requirement in relation to throughput is an important cost factor.

Concrete figures demonstrate the opportunities for cost and energy savings. For example, in the disposal of sewage sludge, disposal costs account for around 75 percent of total costs. 20 percent are costs for operating materials such as polymer. Energy costs account for around five percent.

Time for Heroes: Optimal dewatering reduces sludge disposal costs

With decanter solutions from GEA, each of the cost factors outlined can be influenced. It is no coincidence that GEA has chosen the motto "Time for Heroes" for its appearance at this year's IFAT. Cost and efficiency advantages arise from many years of experience in solid-liquid separation. GEA's UCA 365 from 1962 was already a leader in terms of efficiency in the dewatering of industrial and sewage sludges, even in comparison with competitors at that time. The UCA 365 achieved efficient dewatering of sewage sludge and reduced the volume of sewage sludge by up to 90 percent.

How have the "old heroes" changed since then?

The established technology has evolved significantly in recent years - towards modern machine types such as the new GEA biosolids Decanter pro 3200. The continuous development of the decanters was about reducing the energy consumption of the centrifuges and increasing their throughput without compromising separation performance at the same time. GEA's experts identified appropriate adjusting screws. Among other things, the GEA biosolids Decanters ensure optimum separation efficiency through a high g-force and a high degree of dewatering with significantly reduced sludge volume through process-optimized torque control.

In addition, GEA engineers developed further solutions such as a deep pond design for maximum separation efficiency and a gentle inlet geometry for optimum flocculation and low wear. All product-contacting parts are made of stainless steel. Added to this are lower space requirements (m³/h per m²) and easy accessibility to all components. This in turn leads to trouble-free operation and easy maintenance.

Worldwide repair network with comprehensive know-how and service offering

GEA is also working on solutions for ongoing operations to tap further optimization potential, because operators demand the highest possible machine availability, ideally around the clock every day. To support them in this, GEA has positioned its service offering well and supports customers worldwide with state-of-the-art repairs: More than 150 employees at 17 locations are dedicated to the repair business with a clear focus on fast order processing and delivery of the highest quality. More than 5,000 repairs are carried out annually in GEA's workshops, which cover a total area of over 30,000 m². To avoid bottlenecks in the operation, more than 450 rental bowls and screws and over 300 exchange bowls and screws are available. All GEA workshops are certified to DIN EN ISO 9001 and a specially trained product safety officer monitors compliance with the high quality standards at each location.

Newly presented at IFAT Munich: the GEA biosolids Granulator

GEA biosolids Granulator - innovative dry-on-demand solution for sewage sludge treatment. (Photo: GEA)

GEA biosolids Granulator - innovative dry-on-demand solution for sewage sludge treatment. (Photo: GEA)

The GEA biosolids Granulator is an innovative dry-on-demand solution for the treatment of sewage sludge from municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants. It combines existing centrifuge-based dewatering with proven drying technology. This process, unique in the world in this form, uses the dewatered solids ejected directly from the rotating centrifuge bowl. This is then immediately heat treated and solidified by the primary direct heat input stream. The solid particles are then further dried by the secondary hot air stream in the main drying chamber. The result is an improved dried granule with up to 50 percent dry solids and a consistent pathogen count below 100,000 cfu/g. These process results can be achieved using either low-temperature (75-90 °C) waste heat available on site, heat generated from a fuel source, or a combination of both. The end product opens up additional utilization opportunities for the end user, for example in agriculture, composting, or combustion as a fuel/fuel additive.


Dr. Michael Golek

Phone: 49 211 9136 1505

Media Relations

GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft

Peter-Müller-Str. 12




+49 211 9136-0

About GEA

GEA is one of the world’s largest suppliers of systems and components to the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. The international technology group, founded in 1881, focuses on machinery and plants, as well as advanced process technology, components and comprehensive services.

With more than 18,000 employees, the group generated revenues of about EUR 5.4 billion in more than 150 countries in the 2023 fiscal year. GEA plants, processes, components and services enhance the efficiency and sustainability of customer’s production. They contribute significantly to the reduction of CO2 emissions, plastic usage and food waste. In doing so, GEA makes a key contribution toward a sustainable future, in line with the company’s purpose: ”Engineering for a better world“. GEA is listed on the German MDAX the European STOXX® Europe 600 Index and is among the companies comprising the DAX 50 ESG, MSCI Global Sustainability as well as Dow Jones Sustainability World and Dow Jones Sustainability Europe Indices.
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