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Amoco Chemical Company

Year Submitted: 2003

Process: Polymer manufacturing

Industry: Chemical Manufacturing

Wastes Reduced: Process Wastes

Location: Alvin, Brazoria County TX

No. of employees: 900

Contact: Randy Emery

Phone: (713) 581-3498


Several years ago, Amoco Chemical Company's Chocolate Bayou plant implemented a program to reduce the volume and toxicity of wastes generated. Top management support, characterization of the waste generated, and periodic program evaluation have been key components in this program's success. In June, 1988, a Facility Guidance Document and a Management Position were issued to all departments, recommending that they seek to eliminate or reduce waste through changes in processes or work practices. Maintenance and Operations divisions formed Corrective Action Teams (CATs) and zero in on Non-Compliance Teams (ZINCs) to address waste minimization. The plant's lab also has begun exploring waste minimization practices.

P2 Application:

The Maintenance Waste Minimization Committee implements its program by: 1. Seeking substitutes for restricted materials;2. Auditing vendors for recycling activities;3. Developing training; and4. Giving quarterly awards for waste minimization ideas. In 1989, the plant reduced the use of 1,1,1-trichloroethane, a degreaser, by 76 percent, or 38,000 pounds, from 1988 levels. In 1990, the degreaser was reduced an additional 71 percent. These reductions were accomplished through heavy internal restrictions on the use of TCE.
Efforts have been made to segregate and reclaim materials. The plant began recycling furnace tubes, which were previously sold as scrap to a company that reworked the tubes and resold them back to the plant. Chocolate Bayou now retrieves the nickel from the tubes itself, saving money as well as ensuring a supply of nickel.
Used oil has been segregated from waste solvents to reduce the amount of hazardous waste generated. In 1989, 83,000 pounds of used oil, 55,000 pounds of scrap polypropylene and polyethylene, and 23,500 pounds of ion exchange resin were reclaimed. Scrap polypropylene, polyethylene, and ion exchange resin also were sold to material reclaimers for resale.
In 1990, the Process Engineering group sold approximately 52,000 pounds of spent catalyst to a reclaimer for $4,756. Polymer powder and pellets destines for disposal now are reclaimed as scrap material. The plant continues to investigate other ways to reduce atactic polypropylene, benzene, polymer powder and pellets in the process sewer and the use of aerosol paints in painting operations. Wastes high in fuel value are recycled for energy recovery, as well.

Environmental Benefits:

All maintenance personnel receive training in waste minimization procedures as well as RCRA training. Their logo is a trash can surrounded by three concentric circles. The inner circle reads "Maintenance Waste Minimization." The outer circle reads "Elimination, Substitution, Segregation, and Reclamation." The 1990 waste minimization report for the maintenance group, recently issued, details how the group in many cases exceeded its goals, significantly reducing the use of toxic materials, waste generated and expenses (see chart below). Material or Waste -Paper Towels-Percent Reduced-78%, Savings-$66,120
Material or Waste-Chlorinated Solvents-Percent Reduced-71%, Savings-$35,630
Material or Waste-Aerosol Paint-Percent Reduced-87%, Savings-$25,920
Material or Waste-Poly Film-Percent Reduced-72%, Savings-$13,847
Material or Waste-Paint Thinner -Percent Reduced- 29%, Savings-$10,782.

Details of Reductions

Additional Information :

The result of the waste minimization program at Chocolate Bayou has been significant reductions in the waste generated and significant increases in the recycling and reclaiming of materials. These steps saved the plant and its approximately 900 employees over $200,000 in 1990. They also earned the plant the Environmental Excellence Award from EPA in 1989.

Source: TCEQ

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Updated August 10th, 2005. Comments to contact@p2ric.org

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