Dow Corning evaluates waste reduction efforts; reports 80% cut in process scrap

Dow Corning has reported significant progress in waste reduction, including a cut of up to 80% in process scrap at one of its manufacturing sites. The reductions have been achieved in part through the company’s materials conversion program, which converts or recycles its waste, scrap, and off-spec silicone materials instead of sending them to landfill or incineration.
By Control Engineering Staff January 1, 2009

Dow Corning has reported significant progress in waste reduction, including a cut of up to 80% in process scrap at one of its manufacturing sites.

The reductions have been achieved in part through the company’s materials conversion program, which converts or recycles its waste, scrap, and off-spec silicone materials instead of sending them to landfill or incineration. Materials are then reprocessed into new products that meet customers’ specifications.

Examples of successful European efforts include:

  • Reducing the amount of process scrap generated by the emulsions and antifoam production unit of its Seneffe, Belgium, manufacturing site by 80%;

  • Lowering the waste generated in its Barry, Wales, site by a factor of 10; and

  • Reducing the overall amount of waste solvent at the Barry site by reusing a different solvent that is generated as a waste byproduct elsewhere in the plant.

Examples of success in North America include:

  • Reducing consumption of natural gas and carbon dioxide emissions by burning hydrogen at its Midland, MI, plant.

  • Reducing the amount of solvent used in a coating process in Midland that had been sent to an offsite disposal facility by recycling it.

  • Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases through energy reduction at its Carrollton, KY, plant has also helped to offset the impact of rising natural gas prices. A wide variety of projects over the past five years have contributed to a 19,800 tons-per-year reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

Examples in China include:

  • Recycling more than 80% of the waste at its Zhangjiagang (ZJG) sealant plant, in contrast to the 90% of waste that had previously been sent offsite for disposal.

  • Through the first half of 2008, the Zhangjiagang sealant plant has reduced generation of nonhazardous silicone and solvent streams by 50% compared to 2007.

  • The sealants plant also has established a program to focus on further reducing the sealant waste at its point of generation. The plant is committed to moving its waste stream up through the “waste hierarchy” from disposal to recycling, to reduction and elimination.

www.dowcorning.com