Georgia-Gulf replaced five fluidized bed oxyhydrochlorinators with one fixed bed reactor system for making vinyl chloride monomer.
Definitely new, more efficient technology.
The new reactor produces only 30,000 lbs/yr of EDC contaminated catalyst whereas the fluidized reactors generated 500,000/yr. Copper contamination from catalyst to wastewater was reduced the same percentage (copper poisons the biological treatment system), and likewise copper discharges to the Mississippi River dropped dramatically. The more efficient reactor reduced by-product formation (hazardous waste), and wastewater acidity (by 80%). Air emissions from reactor start-ups and shutdowns were reduced 80 90%. The old fluidized reactors used biphenyl coolant which produced PCBs if it leaked into the reactors. The new reactor uses water for coolant, thus eliminating the possibility of PCB formation.
Details of Reductions
Additional Information :
Economic benefits are.real but not detailed. Georgia-Gulf chose to scrap the fluidized bed reactors well before the end of their useful lives, a departure from "business-as-usual".