Wacker Chemical Corporation in Kentucky Saves More Than 11 Million Pounds of Landfill Waste and Reduces Water Usage with Help from GE
CALVERT CITY, KY. and TREVOSE, PA.—May 26, 2011—The Wacker Chemical Corporation plant in Calvert City, Ky., has significantly reduced water usage and landfill waste while simultaneously increasing efficiency and cost savings with help from GE (NYSE: GE) and its advanced water chemical technology.
Wacker was facing high costs associated with the transportation and disposal of a watery non-hazardous waste commonly known as sludge. Each day, large amounts of sludge were being transported from the wastewater treatment area to a disposal site. The frequent disposal not only increased operational costs for the Wacker plant, but also increased the amount of waste being added to the area landfill. Additionally, the costs associated with the chemical treatment of the wastewater were higher than necessary due to operational inefficiencies.
To tackle these operational and environmental challenges, Wacker turned to GE experts and technologies. Together, they developed a solution to reduce waste, improve wastewater treatment efficiency and reduce costs at Wacker’s Calvert City plant, which mainly produces polymer disipersions and powders used by customers in the adhesives, coatings, construction and engineered fabrics industries.
“GE’s expertise in water treatment applications was essential to the success of our waste reduction project,” said Mary Beth Hudson, site manager of Wacker Chemical Corporation’s Calvert City plant. “This is a significant step in the right direction as our company continues to strive to reduce our environmental footprint and limit the amount of natural resources used daily.”
To help Wacker reach its efficiency goals, GE provided its emulsion breaker technology and applications expertise including training for plant operators, improved instrumentation and better chemical storage systems. Efforts to reduce the amount of wastewater disposed by Wacker were made possible through improvements to the wastewater treatment equipment, as well as to the chemical selection and chemical feed and control within the Calvert City facility. An increased awareness of the overall plant processes with respect to sustainability goals by the Wacker employees also was key in helping the facility reduce its chemical usage and, therefore, chemical costs.
Wacker’s waste reduction project has led to the elimination of 11 million pounds of landfill waste each year and, in turn, disposal costs. The project also helped Wacker achieve savings of more than 17 million gallons of water annually at the plant, significantly reducing the impact on the environment. The facility experienced improved operations and a 40 percent reduction in overall wastewater treatment expenses, which include a reduction in transportation costs by more than 96,000 traveled miles per year for sludge transportation.
GE has awarded Wacker Chemical Corporation an ecomagination Leadership Award to recognize the company for its noteworthy reductions in water consumption and landfill waste using GE technology. GE’s ecomagination Leadership Award recognizes the achievements of industrial users that significantly surpass and improve environmental and industrial operational goals while balancing industrial demands.
“In recognition of the company’s initiative and the team’s effort to conserve water and reduce landfill waste and operating costs at its Calvert City plant, we are pleased to present Wacker Chemical Corporation with a GE ecomagination Leadership Award,” said Jeff Fulgham, chief sustainability officer and ecomagination leader for GE Power & Water. “By utilizing GE’s advanced wastewater technology and proven expertise, Wacker has been able to meet its environmental and operational objectives.”
GE’s ecomagination commitment is both a business strategy for growth at GE and a promise to contribute positively to the environment in the process. As part of that commitment, GE has committed to reducing the company’s freshwater consumption by 25 percent by the year 2015. That is one of the world’s most aggressive corporate water targets to date, and it is expected to free up 7.4 million cubic meters (2 billion gallons) of fresh water a year—enough water to fill more than 3,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
GE (NYSE: GE) is an advanced technology, services and finance company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. Dedicated to innovation in energy, health, transportation and infrastructure, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.ge.com.
GE also serves the energy sector by providing technology and service solutions that are based on a commitment to quality and innovation. The company continues to invest in new technology solutions and grow through strategic acquisitions to strengthen its local presence and better serve customers around the world. The businesses that comprise GE Energy www.ge.com/energy—GE Power & Water, GE Energy Services and GE Oil & Gas—work together with more than 90,000 global employees and 2010 revenues of $38 billion, to provide integrated product and service solutions in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; as well as other alternative fuels and new grid modernization technologies to meet 21st century energy needs.