Turmeric and chilli – a successful recipe for decarbonisation


GSH Group has won the Gold Award of Excellence in Facilities Management 2020. The award, presented by Global FM, the federation of facilities management organisations, is in recognition of the company’s innovative project to transform biomass-waste, created in the production process, into a burnable fuel which is actively used in the manufacturing process.

The announcement was made on 13th October on the Global FM website, replacing the face-to-face celebrations of previous years because of the global pandemic. 

GSH worked with Kaleesuwari from 2015 managing its refineries in India to produce steam used in the extraction of oils from nuts, seeds and other raw materials for sale into the food, personal and household markets in the country. In November 2017 they started to mix biomass – including sawdust, wood charcoal powder and turmeric – with coal as a fuel for the fluidised-bed combustion boilers in two power refineries in Palani and Chennai. This increased to 60% and 20% biomass respectively, with GSH achieving a 60% reduction in CO2 emissions together with a 15% reduction in the cost of steam. 

Biomass ash content is low compared to coal, making for easy and more environmentally-friendly disposal. And the products, which are sustainably sourced from close to the refineries, are safer to store. The results were so positive that the business switched over completely to biomass increasing the range of biomass products it used to include chilli powder.     

The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) nominated the project for this year’s Global FM Awards following the scheme being a finalist in last year’s IWFM Impact Awards. GSH Group’s CEO, Mark Thomas said, “I am delighted that our engineers’ hard work and dedication to our clients and the environment has been recognised by the leading FM body in the world. As energy and facilities management professionals, we realise industrial and commercial real estate are large consumers of energy and producers of greenhouse gases. We also recognise that we are in a unique position to assist our client facilities in combatting waste and inefficiencies.” 


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