PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GERMAN GEOSCIENTISTS | ASSOCIATION OF THE GERMAN GYPSUM INDUSTRY

Christening of the ‘Rock of the Year’ in Iphofen: Gypsum as an everyday hero

Gypsum is a raw material that we can hardly imagine everyday life without. Gypsum products are used in the building industry, for example, in dry construction, in the design of surfaces (e.g. stucco plaster) and in sound, fire and heat insulation. Widely known is the medical use as plaster bandages or as moulding plaster in the ceramics industry. And gypsum is of outstanding importance as the source rock of geotopes; species-rich biotopes of special beauty form on gypsum substrates. It is obtained through mining, but currently also to a large extent from flue gas desulphurisation in lignite power generation. The last lignite-fired or hard-coal fired power plants in Germany are expected to be shut down in 2038. A board of trustees of the Berufsverband Deutscher Geowissenschaftler e. V. (BDG) (Professional Association of German Geoscientists) had named gypsum the Rock of the Year 2022 due to this topicality. During a ceremony on 8 October 2022 at the headquarters of Knauf Gips KG in Iphofen, Lower Franconia, gypsum was officially named Rock of the Year 2022.

The festive day in Iphofen was organised in cooperation with the Bundesverband der Gipsindustrie e. V. and Knauf Gips KG. In front of more than 80 guests, there were keynote speeches on the Rock of the Year by Dr Manuel Lapp, Saxony State Office for the Environment, Agriculture and Geology, by Holger Ortleb, Managing Director of the Bundesverband der Gipsindustrie e. V., on the importance of gypsum as a diverse building material, and by Dr Andreas von Heßberg, Chair of Disturbance Ecology and Vegetation Dynamics at the University of Bayreuth, on the relationship of sustainable gypsum mining to biodiversity. Finally, Marco Pabstmann, Director of Technology Central Europe, presented the Knauf company.

Thomas Bremer, Chairman of the Bundesverband der Gipsindustrie e. V. (Association of the German Gypsum Industry): “We are delighted that gypsum has been chosen as the Rock of the Year 2022. In an area of tension between geology and economy, this raw material is thus accorded appropriate importance.”

Andreas Hagedorn, Chairman of the Professional Association of German Geoscientists added: “We encounter gypsum and its products everywhere, regularly and in familiar situations: It is a hero of everyday life!”

After the actual naming ceremony, the guests were informed directly at first hand at Knauf Gips KG sites about the state of affairs of modern as well as nature-friendly gypsum mining and processing. In total, there are 82 active gypsum mining sites in Germany in Hesse, Thuringia, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.

www.gips.de | www.geoberuf.de

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