Nuisance caused by black particles: what is DSM doing about it?

Occasionally black particles escape from the chimney of the Yeast Production Company (GPB).

At the beginning of this year, this happened twice in quick succession, on January 16 and February 20. Especially the second time it was a nuisance. Yeast flakes fell on cars and boats on and around Nieuwe Plantage street. Safety Health Environment manager Marleen de Groot of the GPB explains why it came about and what solution was found.

The black particles are yeast particles that are discharged through the chimney with the waste gases from the fermentation process. De Groot: “They are harmless, but we find it very annoying when they pollute the properties of local residents.” The damp particles normally stick to the chimney wall. The chimney is therefore cleaned twice a year. “In this case, the process came to an unexpected standstill due to a production disruption”, explains De Groot. “As a result, warm, dry air passed through the chimney for a while. As a result, the particles dried out, came loose and ended up in the environment.”


Because a report came in quickly, GPB employees could place a letter under the wipers of soiled cars the next day, with a voucher for the car wash. “This is of course more difficult with dirty boats”, says De Groot. "We left a letter with contact details there, requesting that the boat be cleaned at DSM's expense.”

One owner responded positively. He indicated that the boat had been cleaned so well that he almost hoped we would soil it again next year. De Groot is pleased with this humorous response, but continues to regret the incident. “It was not the first time for some car and boat owners. And the car owners still had to take their car to the car wash.”


The GPB tries to prevent a recurrence. De Groot: “We have learned from the analysis of this incident that we must prevent dry air in the chimney. The instruction for cleaning the chimney has since been amended. Only moist air is allowed to enter the chimney. We expect this to prevent repetition from now on.”

Seen something? Report it!

“If you experience nuisance from the Biotech Campus Delft, please let us know via the Environmental Complaints Number 0800-0231341 (free and available 24/7),” says De Groot. “The prompt report on February 20 gave us the opportunity to respond quickly to the owners of contaminated cars and boats. And it facilitated the analysis and the search for a solution. We are happy with an alert environment!”