Process Modifications

The ideal way to reduce or eliminate waste products is to avoid making them in the first place. Almost every part of a process presents an opportunity for waste reduction. Pollutant generation follows repeating patterns that are independent of an industry. Specific improvements involve raw materials, reactors, distillation columns, heat exchangers, pumps, piping, solid processors, and process equipment cleaning.

This section describes several practical ideas and options for preventing polluting generation. When these options are not practical, a second technique is used: recycling waste products back to the process. This section is not an exhaustive compilation of all possibilities. This information is intended to serve as a basis for discussion and brainstorming. Each organization must evaluate the suitability of these and other options for their own needs and circumstances.

Understanding the sources and causes of pollutant or waste generation is a prerequisite to brainstorming for the equipment and process improvement options. For example, when confronted with a tar stream leaving a distillation column, an investigator can formulate the problem as reducing the tar stream. This formulation could lead the investigator to consider measures for optimizing the column. However, further investigation of the problem may show that the distillation is responsible for only a small portion of the tar and that variable raw material quality is responsible for some percentage of the by-product formation. Therefore, the most effective route for reducing the tar stream may not involve the distillation column at all (U.S. EPA 1993).



Tap Directly Into Your Creative Mind... And Easily Access YOUR Million-Dollar Ideas Ideas are the lifeblood of success... and the best ideas originate with brainstorming. Brainstorming can help you successfully fix any problem, build any business, generate any plan, or develop any story. But the problem is that most people have no clue how to effectively brainstorm - either by themselves or with groups. You can waste a lot of time coming up with old, boring ideas that won't work... and the whole time you actually believe that you are brainstorming.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment