Crespel & Deiters

Wheat-based innovations

At Crespel & Deiters, it’s all about wheat. This family-owned company from Ibbenbüren in Westphalia is one of the largest producers of wheat starch and wheat proteins in Germany, as well as one of Europe's leading experts in tailor-made wheat-based products. Breaking down wheat flour into its individual components is an energy-intensive process, but one of the company’s core values is running a sustainable and eco-friendly business. That’s why this mid-sized industrial company continuously strives to reduce its specific energy consumption, as well to lower its use of resources.

Crespel & Deiters GmbH & Co. KG can trace its history back to the 19th century: in 1858, Alexander Crespel founded the company, together with his stepson Josef Deiters and his son Georg, building one of the first starch factories in Germany. Today, more than 250,000 tonnes of wheat flour are processed each year at the company’s founding headquarters in Ibbenbüren, where it is broken down into its individual components and transformed into functional products destined for wide-ranging sectors of the food- and non-food industries: from binding agents for baked goods, for example, to powerful glues for paper- and corrugated cardboard manufacturing.

Climate protection objective:

  • Reducing specific energy consumption by 3 per cent by 2020
  • Reducing fresh water use from 1.7 m³/t to 1.4 m³/t by 2020

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Photo: Crespel & Deiters

Wheat is one of the most important raw materials from agriculture. In an endless natural cycle, it offers a wide range of potential applications. Sustainable, nutritious and natural. Crespel & Deiters has been working with this universal natural product for more than 160 years.

Sustainability as a business goal

Since extracting these raw materials from the wheat, as well drying the end products, requires the use of machinery that consumes a lot of energy – especially heat – Crespel & Deiters is always interested in identifying opportunities to save energy and use it efficiently, ensuring the sustainability of the business. To that end, an ISO 14001-compliant environmental management system was implemented in 2000 to guarantee a systematic approach, and an ISO 50001-compliant energy management system was added in 2013. Employees also receive training on the subject of energy every year.

Continuously reducing energy consumption

Countless technical upgrades and modifications, including renovating the warm water station and the main room’s water boiler, integrating a heat recovery system for the deaerator, and the use of LED lighting, have already contributed to reducing the company’s energy consumption: in total, around 1.5 GWh of heat and 310 MWh of electricity are now saved every year. The use of fresh water for processing wheat flour was cut in half over the past ten years, thanks to the introduction of modern technologies and an efficient water recycling system.

An innovative wheat storage and separation plant, which was put into operation in 2018, offers further savings. The various systems and process steps in the machine network are arranged in a configuration that allows gravity to play a major role in transporting the materials between the individual processing stages. This means less reliance on mechanical pumps and conveyors, and no need to consume energy just to transport the raw material from one process step to another.

Crespel & Deiters laid the foundation for an efficient energy supply for the company more than 20 years ago: that’s when the business began saving heat and electricity by using a cogeneration system (CHP). Currently (as of 01/2019), two natural gas-powered turbines with around 90% efficiency not only cover all of the production chain’s heat and electricity requirements, they also generate an excess of two GWh of electricity per year, which is fed into the public power grid.

Crespel & Deiters also places great importance on sharing and communicating with energy-intensive companies who deal with sustainable consumption of compressed air, electricity, steam and heat in economic, environmental and legislative contexts.

C&D takes the next step

Crespel & Deiters intends to continue to improve its climate balance and has set concrete goals for itself in this respect: despite a planned production increase of around ten per cent, C&D is set to lower its intrinsic energy consumption by an additional three per cent by the year 2020 through further investments in new, more energy-efficient machines and facilities, and by exploiting new opportunities for energy savings through the use of an optimised efficiency analysis. It also strives to reduce its use of fresh water: specifically, Crespel & Deiters aims to maximise recycling to lower its current usage rate of 1.7 m³ of water per tonne of wheat flour processed to 1.4 m³ per tonne by 2020, the lowest technically possible volume without compromising the quality of the end product. In addition, the company aims to use exhaust heat from the gas turbines’ oil circuit to power a new starch dryer by the end of 2020. This could lead to savings of two GWh of thermal energy per year.

This sense of responsibility for creating a sustainable business will also be extended throughout the supply chain, using self-evaluations in the form of questionnaires and audits for distributors of key goods.

Photo: Crespel & Deiters

“Conscious, efficient use of raw materials is vitally important for the environment. Sustainable and eco-friendly operations in all of the company's divisions is a core business goal at C&D. We continuously strive to identify energy savings potential and make use of it.”

Gustav Deiters, Crespel & Deiters’ 5th-generation managing partner