Other Improvements

A company can make a number of other improvements to reduce waste. These options are described next.

Avoiding Unexpected Trips and Shutdowns

A good preventive maintenance program and adequate spare equipment are two ways to minimize trips and unplanned shutdowns. Another way is to provide early warning systems for critical equipment (e.g., vibration monitors). When plant operators report unusual conditions, minor maintenance problems are corrected before they become major and cause a plant trip.

Reducing the Number and Quantity of Samples

Taking frequent and large samples can generate a large amount of waste. The quantity and frequency of sampling should be reduced, and the samples returned to the process after analysis.

Using Antistick Coatings on Equipment Walls

The application of anti-stick agent, such as Teflon, to the equipment interior walls enables the easy removal of leftover residue. Then, a subsequent flush can be accomplished with less solvent resulting in less waste (U.S. EPA 1993).

Recovering Products from Tank Cars and Trucks

The product drained from tank cars and trucks (especially those dedicated to a single service) can often be recovered and reused.

Using Distillation or Other Technology to Recover the Solvent

The recycling and reuse of a solvent can reduce waste significantly.

Reclaiming Waste Products

Sometimes waste products—not all of which are chemical streams—can be reclaimed. Rather than sending waste products to a burner or landfill, some companies have found ways to reuse them. This reuse can involve physical cleaning, special treating, filtering, or other reclamation techniques. Also, converting a waste product into a salable product may require additional processing or creative salesmanship, but it can be an effective means of reducing waste.

Installing Reusable Insulation

When conventional insulation is removed from equipment, it is typically scrapped and sent to a landfill. A number of companies manufacture reusable insulation which is particularly effective on equipment where the insulation is removed regularly for maintenance (e.g., head exchanger heads, manways, valves, and transmitters).

Maintaining External Painted Surfaces

Even in plants handling highly corrosive material, external corrosion can cause pipe deterioration. Piping and valves should be painted before being insulated, and all painted surfaces should be well maintained.

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