GEA Filtration

GEA Filtration

GEA Filtration custom designs membrane filtration systems that best utilize the technologies of microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, or reverse osmosis for each customer`s specific application. GEA Filtration is a world leader in the design, engineering, production, installation, support, and testing of large filtration systems for the dairy, food and beverage, fermentation and biotechnology, and chemical industries, as well as for wastewater applications across the process industries.

Company details

1600 O`Keefe Road , Hudson , WI 54016 USA
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Business Type:
Industry Type:
Water Filtration and Separation
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)

This company also provides solutions for other industrial applications.
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GEA Filtration has maintained its leadership in membrane filtration technology for a long time. Our plants are used to meet special liquid separation requirements by utilizing microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, or reverse osmosis. The simplicity and effectiveness of our technology allows membrane filtration to be utilized in many different industries for the production of specific products, and in environmental applications.

A Reliable Partner

GEA Filtration is part of GEA Group AG, an international process engineering leader in the life sciences industry with more than 150 companies operating worldwide. As a team member with technology leaders like Niro, Westfalia Separator, GEA Wiegand and Tuchenhagen specializing in liquid and powder processing systems, GEA Filtration is uniquely positioned to provide both customized membrane filtration plants as well as complete process lines specifically tailored to each customer's specific needs and requirements.

A Proven Track Record

GEA Filtration is world renowned for its design of the most advanced cross-flow membrane filtration systems available. To effectively focus on the membrane filtration market, we have established dedicated regional centers in the USA, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand, and Australia.

The multi-disciplined teams at these centers provide the following value-added services:

Pilot trials and application development

  • System scale-up
  • Project Engineering
  • Process Integration
  • Controls and automation
  • System fabrication
  • System Installation and start-up
  • Service and plant audits
  • Replacement and membrane inventory

To provide a visual perspective of the dedicated regional centers that serve the membrane filtration market, we have included photos of these centers below. Hudson, USA is the global headquarters of Membrane Filtration. The other regional centers displayed include Denmark, Germany and New Zealand in that order.

In addition, the Membrane Filtration Center of Excellence located in Hudson, WI (USA), Australia, Germany and New Zealand is responsible for development of new applications and processes to meet current and future industry needs.

These capabilities enable us to take responsibility for the complete project all the way through design, procurement fabrication, installation and commissioning-reliably and economically. Your GEA Filtration team follows through long beyond start up with dedicated after-sales service. We can serve the industry globally with local presence, guaranteeing on-time delivery, to specification, on budget and personalized.

Listening to your needs and expectations, and understanding them, is the heart of our success. Our expertise, interactive approach and quality assurance process facilitates the value-added partnership that creates optimal solutions for you to excel in your marketplace. Simply put, you tell us your needs and we will take care of the details...anywhere around the globe, complying with local, national and international standards.


Cross-flow membrane filtration technology is quickly gaining global acceptance as an important manufacturing step in many of the process lines in the food, dairy, pharmaceutical/biotechnology and starch and sweetener industries worldwide. The ability to produce very specific separations at low or ambient temperatures with no phase change can, in many applications, make membrane filtration a much more cost-effective solution than more conventional methods such as rotary vacuum filtration or filter presses.

Membrane filtration is a pressure driven technology with pore sizes ranging from 100 molecular weight to 5 microns. The technologies included in membrane filtration are: Reverse Osmosis RO, Nanofiltration NF, Ultrafiltration UF, and Microfiltration MF


GEA Filtration offers a wide range of system and membrane types to allow each and every completely optimize their specific separation. The range includes a number of both polymeric and inorganic membranes:


  • Spiral - Due to their compact layout and relatively large amountof membrane area per element, spirals are good cost-effective solutions to high volume applications with minimal or no suspended solids, with the primary advantage being both low capital investment and energy costs. They are available for all types of filtration from microfiltration to reverse osmosis.
  • Tubular - Highly resistant to plugging, tubular membranes are typically used when the feed stream contains large amounts of suspended solids or fibrous compounds.
  • Hollow Fiber Membrane - Extremely high packing density and open channel design; offers the possibility of backwashing from the permeate side, particularly suited for low solids liquid streams.


  • Ceramic - Ideally used for value added or sanitary applications such as milk or fermentation broths as well as products requiring selective separations from fluid streams with extremes in pH, temperature or solvents.
  • Stainless Steel - Rugged design, especially effective for demanding applications with aggressive process conditions or feed streams with elevated particulate solids or viscosity.

The GEA Group
Engineering Excellence
Summary of the GEA Group

  • The company focuses on specialty mechanical engineering - especially process engineering and equipment.
  • The GEA Group is one of the world's market and technology leaders in 90 percent of its businesses.
  • In 2007 the GEA Group employed some 19.500 people who generated sales of EUR 5.2 billion.
  • The GEA Group is a driver of innovation in its markets; up to 70 per cent of products are less than three years old.
  • The key markets are the dairy industry, the food industry and the petrochemicals as well as the energy sector.
  • GEA Group is a leading international technology group with operating companies in more than 50 countries.
  • GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft is the management holding company of GEA Group; and is listed on the German MDAX

Four guiding strategic principles

Market leadership and focus

  • Number one or two in each of its markets around the world
  • Focus on core competencies and core technologies

Technology leadership through innovation

  • Technology leader in main markets
  • Differentiation through technological lead

Strong focus on bottom line

  • Decentralized organizational structure with global responsibility within each division
  • Four guiding strategic principles
  • Cost leadership through high productivity and a global manufacturing base

Calculated risks

  • Stability through diversification across applications and regions
  • Thorough risk assessment of projects

GEA headquarters are located in the GEA Center in Bochum, Germany. However, the globally present company employs almost 60% of its staff outside Germany.

GEA is a global technology group operating in two major Business Segments:

  • Process Engineering
  • Process Equipment
  • Customized Systems

Within these Business Segments our companies have specialized in process technology, refrigeration, mechanical separation, thermal and energy technology as well as air treatment and dairy farm systems. They manufacture components, systems and complete process lines. In addition to standardized products, we particularly provide customized solutions tailored to our customer's specific needs. Founded in 1920, the Group is headed by the holding company GEA AG, Bochum, which went public in 1989. 200 operating companies in some 50 countries which are organized in seven divisions are controlled from here. GEA is among the three biggest engineering contractors in Europe.

In many product areas GEA companies are technology leaders. Our activities centre on

  • the rationalized production of processed food for a steadily growing world population,
  • the efficient use of non-renewable sources of energy and
  • the conservation and preservation of the environment.

These three increasingly important challenges create growing long-term demand and develop markets worldwide.

The turnover in the business year 2006 amounted to about EUR 4.3 billion. The result before taxes and interest (EBIT) lay with 298.2 million euros. To the 30th June, 2007 the enterprise occupied about 19,000 employees. The corporation GEA Group is listed in the MDax.

Cross-flow membrane filtration technology is quickly gaining global acceptance as an important manufacturing step in many of the process lines in the food, dairy, pharmaceutical/biotechnology and starch and sweetener industries world wide. The ability to produce very specific separations at low or ambient temperatures with no phase change can, in many applications, make membrane filtration a much more cost-effective solution than more conventional methods such as rotary vacuum filtration or filter presses.

Membrane filtration is a pressure driven technology with pore sizes ranging from 100 molecular weight to 5 microns. The technologies included in membrane filtration are:

  • Reverse osmosis - Reverse osmosis (RO), sometimes called hyperfiltration, describes the tightest of these molecular-level separations. In reverse osmosis, hydraulic force is applied in excess of the natural osmotic pressure of a solution to provide the driving energy for water molecules to diffuse into and through the membrane. Typical operating pressure can be in the hundreds to even a thousand pounds per square inch (25 to 68 bar). RO membranes are generally characterized by their ability to reject sodium chloride (NaCl) at given pressure, temperature, and concentration conditions. Typical rejection values can be on the order of 98 to 99.5%.

  • Nanofiltration - Nanofiltration (NF) is the next, more open cross-flow membrane filtration type. In solutions of mixed ionic species, monovalent ions will tend to permeate (pass through) the membrane whereas divalent or multivalent species will tend to be highly rejected at the membrane interface. Since some ionic species, the monovalent ions, are transmitted through the membrane, the difference in chemical potential between the two solutions is less and therefore lower driving forces are required. Hence, typical NF operating pressures may be only one to a few hundred pounds per square inch (7 to 40 bar). NF membranes are generally characterized by their ability to retain a divalent ionic species, often magnesium sulphate (MgSO4) or calcium chloride (CaCl2). Since more variability in applications exist with NF, retention of MgSO4 might range from around 80% to 98%.

  • Ultrafiltration - With ultrafiltration (UF), the membranes comprise a discrete porous network. As a mixed solute solution is pumped across the membrane, smaller molecules pass through the pores while larger molecules are retained. We end up with one solution depleted of larger molecules, the permeate stream, and another enriched of larger molecules, the retentate. The open membrane structure means that mass transfer is now more flow dependent than pressure dependent, so operating pressure is further reduced. Typical operating pressures for UF are tens of pounds per square inch to a hundred or so (1 to 10 bar). Membrane classification convention shifts to atomic mass for UF membranes. Molecular weight cut-off (MWCO) is generally expressed in standard dalton (Da) or kilodalton (kDa) units. For example, a 10 kDa membrane would highly retain molecules of that molecular mass or greater while highly permeating smaller molecules. While this system is inherently flawed since the atomic mass does nothing to describe the actual size or geometry of a molecule, it remains the standard convention for UF membrane classification.

  • Microfiltration - Finally, microfiltration (MF) describes the coarsest of filtration in the cross-flow membrane filtration range. Membrane porosity is, at last, conventionally depicted as a distance measure generally from a fraction of a micron up to a micron (10-6 m) or so. Large and small molecules then can be separated from very large or complex molecular structures. Typical operating pressures for MF are a few pounds per square inch to perhaps one hundred (0.5 to 6 bar).

Laboratory and pilot plant activities have been a vital part of the customer service offered by GEA Filtration through the history of the organization. GEA Filtration has facilities in selected locations worldwide for testing customer products and developing new processes that involve the core technologies of GEA Filtration, i.e. microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, and reverse osmosis. Over the years, a considerable amount of product knowledge has been accumulated. Pilot plant testing together with industrial plant experience has always been and will remain the basis for successful new projects that involve areas of GEA Filtration technology. To highlight the different applications we have divided our target market into these industrial segments:

Membrane filtration processes are generally differentiated by their ability to separate molecules and particles of different sizes. The core element is the barrier structure, separating the liquid into two compartments. This structure, called a membrane, acts as an active or passive barrier for the product - separating and transporting from the feed side to the permeate side.

GEA Filtration plants and systems are renowned for their design, engineering, process quality and efficiency.