Walls ice cream factory converts to safer, friendlier, economic Kalic

User friendliness, logistical and environmental factors, cost effectiveness and rapid payback have all convinced Birds Eye Walls to switch to Kalic Liquid Lime in place of caustic soda at its Phoenix ice cream factory in Gloucester. Walls required an effective agent to neutralise process effluent. As a safe, modern and sustainable solution, Kalic from Buxton Lime Industries was deemed to fit the bill.

Few would regard an ice-cream factory as a source of effluent. Yet the hygiene

process in a modern ice-cream making factory has its by-products, in this case,

a cocktail of milk, vegetable oils and fats, plus a sprinkling of food particles,

sugars, milk powders, flavourings, other ingredients and trace quantities of

cleaning chemicals. The result, though not toxic, cannot be discharged into

the environment without proper modification. Caustic soda was initially used

for this purpose, but in March 2002, following successful trials last summer,

the Phoenix factory management decided to convert to Kalic Liquid Lime.

Paul Finch, Environmental Officer at Walls explains the decision. “The

use of Kalic is one way by which we want to comply and seek continuous improvement

within both ISO 14001 and the policy of our parent group Unilever. Kalic has

provided us with a good, positive environmental impact, as well as cost savings.

We anticipate payback in less than a year as Kalic costs significantly less

than bulk caustic soda and is also far more user friendly. We also received

excellent technical support and advice from BLI.

“Caustic soda is nasty stuff,” explains Paul Finch. “It is inherently

more hazardous than Kalic and our own health and safety precautions insist that

delivery drivers wear full protective clothing before we can accept deliveries.”

Such precautions are to be expected at a factory which has been ISO 14001 approved

(Environmental management) since October 1996.

Yet the logistical problems of bulk storage also played an important consideration.

Caustic soda is not cheap to handle or store. It freezes at around 9°C and

requires tanks which have to be lagged and heated for around nine months of

the year. It would have cost Walls more to store than Kalic, which freezes at

0°C, significantly reducing the need for lagging and trace heating of pipework,

pumps and tanks and is also easy to pump, handle and transport.

Kalic Liquid Lime is now being delivered to the Phoenix factory in bulk tanker

loads. From a 30-tonne bulk storage tank, Kalic is dosed automatically 24 hours

a day, 50 weeks a year.

“We’re confident that we’ve done the right thing in converting to Kalic,”

says Paul Finch, “and I am sure that other Birds Eye Walls sites will be

taking a keen interest.”

For further information please contact:

Richard Givens at Buxton Lime Industries Ltd

Tunstead House, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 8TG

Tel: 01298 768403 Fax: 01298 768454

E-mail: [email protected]

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