Case Study : Waste Minimization

2020 Responsible Care® Waste Minimization Award


The Challenge:

The LANXESS Solutions’ Perth Amboy, New Jersey facility is located on 45 acres and it has six buildings that produce more than 200 products. The manufacturing processes include polyester esterification and polyurethane water-based dispersions. The facility has several on-going sustainability initiatives and challenges focused on:

  • Water use reduction
  • Reducing BOD levels in wastewater discharges
  • Reducing wastewaters generated from the polyurethane manufacturing operations to avoid sewer blockage and the need for industrial cleaning/excess line maintenance
  • Reducing the reliance on landfills for the disposal of discarded chemicals and products as well as chemical by-products, including but not limited to; solid polyester resins, polyurethane by-products and diethylene glycol
  • Beneficially reusing discarded chemicals, products and by-products with economic value
  • Improving environmental performance by reducing multi-media chemical releases
  • Improving resource efficiencies, including material logistic requirements associated with in-plant material handling and outbound material transactions

Innovation, value engineering or sustainability enhancement as implemented:

Working in collaboration with WTS, Inc and its network of technology and service providers, personnel representing the LANXESS Solutions’ Perth Amboy operations performed an in-plant opportunity assessments that was designed to develop a WTS initiated By-Product Management Plan (BMP) aligned with the company’s sustainability goals and strategies. The BMP addressed all the plant’s sustainable challenges, noting regulatory compliance standards. On-going projects involving:

  • In-plant technology evaluations enhancing source controls on chemical releases
  • value engineering solutions addressing water use reduction and the reduction of wastewater BOD
  • source controls resulting in the segregation of reusable and recycled chemical by-products
  • the segregation of by-products that can handled and staged for commercial beneficial reuse as an alternative to land disposal
  • the development of source controls minimizing the release of chemicals to the plant wastewaters and sewers
  • the development and implementation of quality operating procedures continuously improving the productive utilization and management of facility resources impacting the generation of plant wastes.

The Results – Environmental Benefits and Sustainability Enhancements achieved:

With the implementation of WTS, Inc.‘s By-Product Management Plan, and in collaboration with the project investments and procedural changes undertaken by the LANXESS Solutions’ Perth Amboy facility, the facility was able to document several economic and environmental benefits. In 2019, the Perth Amboy facility implemented several material management changes and recommended sustainable solutions resulting in:

  • 74,800 pounds of diethylene glycol ( DEG ) being segregated and managed for commercial reclamation and reuse, eliminating reliance on commercial disposal facilities and minimizing waste generation
  • 673,116 pounds of waste by-products and discarded chemicals segregated and managed for commercial beneficial reuse, significantly reducing the plant’s reliance on landfills and fuel blending operations, while recognizing approximately 15% reduction in operating expenses. The following chemicals and by-product categories were effectively diverted to Energy From Waste facilities producing renewable energy: adipic acid, glycol residues, plant waste, polyester resins, polyester resin solids, and polyurethane dispersion liquids.
  • 3,324 pounds of electronic scrap segregated and managed for commercial recycling
  • The segregation of city water wastes to reduce the amount of wastewater BOD levels discharged to the sewer
  • The reduction of water flows to the wastewater treatment system by closing sewer openings from unused portions of the plant property
  • The completion of an engineered Lamella chemical project reducing solid loading which was causing sewer blockage
  • A continuous improvement plan that included opportunities for transitioning value engineered solutions encompassing the wastewater treatment operations

Potential for Further Application:

The collaborative approach and the multi-step methodology associated with a systematic approach to transitioning and implementing a WTS implemented By-Product Management Plan is applicable to any facility, in the chemical industry, pursuing the productive utilization and management of facility resources, in alignment with sustainability goals, including zero waste to landfill and the minimization of waste. WTS’ pre-approved network of technology and service providers are capable of handling similar chemicals and by-products for commercial reuse, beneficial reuse and recycling. The in-plant material handling and off-site material transport solutions can be applied to other facilities and warehouse operated by LANXESS Solutions North America as well as other generators representing the chemical industry. The systematic approach to evaluating material inputs and outputs within the framework of sustainable water management improvement initiatives can be applied to other wastewater treatment facilities operated by LANXESS solutions and other chemical manufacturers.