Jerry van Loon says that production of whey is a highly technical process and very heat-sensitive.
A whey plant is never standard but varies according to "the size of the market opportunity". Nevertheless, this is not new technology - only the economics is new. But standard whey powder production technology has the advantage that it is modular - so a cheese producer can initially erect a basic whey powder plant and then add on other facilities for the production of even higher-priced, more specialised products. For instance, a decalcification unit could be added to produce calcium phosphate, which sells at about $10,000/t and is used in sports drinks and helps women in menopause to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. And a decolouration unit could be inserted, which would produce pharmaceutical-grade lactose; further refining and fractionation could also be added.