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Nestlé in Hammanskraal committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Nestlé Babelegi Industrial Park in Hammanskraal. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Nestlé Babelegi Industrial Park in Hammanskraal. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Nov 22, 2021


Betty Moleya

Pretoria - Earth has a global-warming crisis in which factories also play a part, but Nestlé in Babelegi, Hammanskraal, has a pilot project that seeks to turn this around.

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The global-first technology in Africa, WhiteBoxTM, seeks to reverse the emergency, caused by factories releasing huge amounts of harmful gas into the atmosphere.

It is a subsidiary of the Emissions Capture Company and it cuts carbon dioxide emissions and recycles wastewater from production processes.

The project was launched in 2020 and has proven successful.

WhiteBoxTM has been in successful operation for more than 8 000 hours. The technology captures carbon dioxide from flue gas emissions, recycles industrial wastewater, and creates sustainable green products.

The green products can be sold directly (for animal feed, human food, consumer goods, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals) or used to eliminate sulphur dioxide emissions without the need for water.

Experts at the site told Pretoria News that data collected from the industrial scale pilot project, coupled with industry-first machine learning techniques, demonstrates that the WhiteBoxTM can be calibrated to capture 25% to 70% of scope 1 carbon dioxide emissions and recycle available industrial wastewater.

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Much of this is done through direct air capture and energy-efficient gas processing, using low-fuel consumption methods.

The plant also has a lab where they test the green products that are produced from the process done by WhiteboxTM.

It captures the gases and converts them to by-products instead of releasing them into the atmosphere.

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The green product starts as a slurry (powder mixed with water), which is then processed into a cake and then processed to dried products, the final product.

This initiative is part of Nestlé’s sustainability programme, a multi-disciplinary platform crucial to Nestlé’s success in achieving its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% in 2025, 50% in 2030 and 100% by 2050.

Nestlé’s East and Southern Region technical director, Xolile White, said most of the carbon emissions sent into the atmosphere were reduced by 25%.

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“This is a pilot scale from an environmental view. We have already reduced the impact using the technology,” said White.

The project is also expected to create jobs, local investment and up-skilling and training in the area.

Greg Meneses, MD of the Emissions Capture Company, said they have employed people from the area to work on the pilot project.

"We have 15 personnel currently working on the pilot project, and a bigger plant will be built which will have 34 people working on the plant," said Meneses.

Pretoria News