February 21, 2017

BHS-Sonthofen presented with the German Resources Efficiency Award

German Resources Efficiency Award 2016 trophy

The trophy: The German Resources Efficiency Award 2016

BHS-Sonthofen and MSW Mineralstoffwerke Südwest received the German Resources Efficiency Award 2016 on 16 February 2017. The prestigious prize was awarded in Berlin by the German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy to the two companies to commend the development and successful implementation of the Combimix process. This process turns a previously worthless mining by-product accumulated in quarries into a valuable building resource.

BHS developed the Combimix process based on their twin-shaft batch mixers and implemented it together with MSW at their quarry in Mönsheim. This marked the first German project of this kind. It enabled MSW to increase raw material efficiency from the previous level of 65-70 percent to around 93 percent.

In quarries and gravel pits, the Combimix process takes clay-and-rock mixtures – which previously had to be backfilled or disposed of at a landfill – and turns them into a marketable building material. Furthermore, this means that millions of tons of material that was considered worthless and was dumped in the past can now be reactivated.

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy awards the German Resources Efficiency Award 2016 to exemplary products that efficiently use raw materials and other materials, processes or services, as well as application-oriented research results. A jury comprising 14 members screened over 40 submissions to select four winners in the ‘Companies’ category and a single winner in the ‘Research Facilities’ category.

Andre Däschlein, Director of International Sales for Mixing & Crushing Technology at BHS, and Benedikt Fahrland, Managing Director of MSW Mineralstoffwerke Südwest GmbH & Co. KG, accepted the award presented by Uwe Beckmeyer, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, at the ‘Efficient use of raw materials – Market success’ symposium.

A happy moment for Däschlein: “This award demonstrates yet again that the deep industry know-how and close ties to their customers allow mid-sized companies, in particular, to create innovative processes and solutions that deliver true efficiency gains.”

Excerpt from the laudation of State Secretary Beckmeyer: “The sparing and efficient use of natural resources is a key skill for creating a sustainable society. This year’s winning projects serve as role models of innovative and competitive industrial entrepreneurship in Germany. They furthermore pave our way to becoming less dependent on resource imports.”

MSW introduced the process at their Mönsheim quarry in the summer of 2016. It allowed the company to increase their repository’s yield by 25 percent. Before introducing the new technology, about 620,000 tons of limestone were extracted annually to produce the same volume of the final product. Now the total is roughly 188,000 tons less, which corresponds to a relative reduction of about 30 percent. It enabled MSW to increase raw material efficiency from the previous level of 65-70 percent to around 93 percent.

Dennis Kemmann, the Managing Director of BHS-Sonthofen GmbH, is already thinking ahead: “Our Combimix process holds vast potential, as it enables companies across the globe and throughout various industries to utilize resources more efficiently. In the context of rehabilitating contaminated soil, Combimix can be used to remove oil and other harmful substances. As a result, only a small fraction of the input material needs to be dumped in hazardous waste landfills. The process is also viable for the cement industry. Here, it can be applied to processing limestone, a key ingredient that improves the burning process in rotary kilns and thus contributes to reducing fuel consumption.”

Awards ceremony in Berlin

Awards ceremony in Berlin (left to right): Parliamentary State Secretary Uwe Beckmeyer, Andre Däschlein and Gerd Schuler (both BHS-Sonthofen), Benedikt Fahrland (MSW) and Manfred Immler (BHS-Sonthofen) as well as Prof. Ralph Watzel, President of the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) and chairman of the jury

Prizewinners’ signet

The prizewinners’ signet of the German Resources Efficiency Award 2016

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