Hong Kong Plant Switches to Electric Vehicles
Electric vehicles are predicted to account for 35 percent of new light duty vehicle sales worldwide by 2040.7
Ahead of the trend, Trinseo’s plant in Tsing Yi, Hong Kong exchanged all eight of its gas-powered forklifts for electric-powered forklifts. Not only will this switch reduce the plant’s carbon footprint, through decreased emissions, it is also estimated the switch will reduce the plant’s annual fuel costs by 50 percent.
7Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), “Electric Vehicles to Be 35% of Global New Car Sales by 2040,” February 2016
U.S. Plant Recovers Methane, Reduces Waste
Trinseo’s latex plant in Dalton, Georgia (USA) runs almost entirely on alternative energy and significantly reduces CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions, thanks to LOMAX™ Technology. Named for its focus on delivering materials with LOwer environmental impact with MAXimum performance, LOMAX Technology uses methane gas collected from a nearby landfill as the primary energy source to power the facility that manufactures Trinseo’s latex binders for carpet.
In 2015, approximately 110 billion BTUs of methane gas flowed from a nearby Landfill Gas Energy Recovery facility to the Dalton plant, where the energy is used to power most of the plant’s steam boiler’s energy demand. In 2015, 68 percent of the total energy used to make latex binders in Dalton came from landfill gas. And, because the methane is being harnessed for energy instead of being released into the atmosphere, making latex manufactured with LOMAX Technology has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 125 million pounds of CO2 equivalents per year. This is equivalent to taking 11,945 passenger vehicles off the road.
Thinking Big Saves
Innovation doesn’t always start with a big idea. Sometimes innovation comes from looking at an old problem in a new way. A cross-functional team at our Hsinchu, Taiwan site was looking at ways to decrease potential for injury from moving materials that were packaged in 25 kg bags for shipping. The solution, though counter-intuitive at first, was to replace the 25 kg bags with larger 1000 kg super-bags. These super-bags would be moved using a mechanical hoist rather than manual labor, thus reducing the risk of physical injury.
In addition, switching to super-bags, which are recyclable, had the additional benefit of reducing waste. The change reduced solid waste at the site by 70,000 kg per year, a 40 percent reduction.
Germany Plant Improves Energy Efficiency
Trinseo’s Solution Elastomers Rubber plant in Schkopau, Germany is particularly energy intensive due to the large amount of steam required to purify the recycled solvent used in the polymerization process. A multidisciplinary team, including employees from operations, maintenance, TICA, process control, and quality control, implemented a project to improve energy efficiency by reducing steam consumption.
The team re-engineered processes to minimize unnecessary purified solvent re-circulations, resized and replaced control valves, tuned process controllers, and eliminated production of unnecessary steam.
As a result of the team’s efforts, the plant was able to reduce the steam consumption of the solvent purification unit by 15 percent in 2015.