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Lowering occurrence and diminishing effluents/pollution at source - treatment and recovery

Research and development into process arrangements to
reduce the environmental impact of chemicals production.

The LODE (P) STAR project proposes to apply R & D activities within a large chemical company, combine this with specialised external expertise, to develop an economically viable system to reduce the environmental impact of the chemical industry. The challenge faced by the project can be characterised by defining its tasks as follows: * to overcome within a short time the burden of past negligence to environmental impact bought about by the production of chemicals * to combine existing knowledge with that which has been newly acquired/developed so as to provide the best compromise between aspects of technical efficiency, economy and time * to find the most versatile solutions that could be applied at source level within a very complex and permanently varying system of dyestuffs, pigments, optical whiteners, a wide range of organic intermediates, plastics and specialty chemicals production * to develop the incipient project goals from the present need to avert imminent regulatory threats further within the framework of longer term philosophy of making the whole production more environmentally-friendly. (Switching to other raw materials, improving yields throughout the existing processes - thus diminishing the occurrence of unwanted by-products/wastes/ contamination, developing less polluting processes, developing the whole branch of fine/specialty chemicals). It is primarily here, where an interesting synergy between this proposed project and the already running EU 1408 RETOX OC can be envisaged. The specific feature of the branch of the chemical industry to be addressed by this project is its extremely complex and variable character, when simultaneous productions of tens and a yearly portfolio of hundreds of different products is the fact to be worked with. Under such conditions, the idea of building a central waste water treatment and incineration plant with sufficient spare capacity seemed in the past to be the only reasonable outcome. Recent experience gained during the plant start-up and running provided very little to justify such initial expectations. The result of such an approach in the past has had quite a heavy impact on the environment and we are left with this sinister legacy. To give an example, the ultimate load by Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) of waters was well over 3g COD/l waste water (about 4g COD/1 ATS of production sales). Similarly, figures for solid wastes were 65g of waste solids/1 ATS of production sales. (COD: parameter to characterise the occurrence of organics that are non-digestible by biological treatment). The novelty of the project can be seen in developing a new approach to solving environmental problems - by coming upstream in the process from the environment to the source level, whilst the existing central facilities of wastes ultimate treatment should be regarded as safety provisions. Thus the aim of this project is not to devise intrinsically original solutions at any cost, but find "a common denominator" for the whole area of concern. In view of the above facts, the vital importance of efficiency in the project's initial phases (feasibility/ definition phases with inherent, extensive analyses, R & D activities) becomes self-evident; as does international cooperation with competent, appropriately specialised partners. Though better insight remains to be provided by the project's initial stages, some expectations can already be formulated. From the outset, the partners' attention will "zero in" on COD and heavy metal contamination of effluents, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) (including halogenated ones), pollution both of offgas and effluents and air pollution by NOx, SO2 and some obnoxious gases. These problems pose the core challenge of the project. To summarise, here is an outline of the project's expected effects: For the Mid-European participant they can be derived from the dual aim of the project: - development of more responsible care towards the Environment - providing the means to preserve a certain degree of competitiveness even in those countries where a disregard for environmental issues in business still gives them a competitive advantage. The West European partners will benefit from the knowledge amassed and validated by a large chemical company as the project spin-off to be commercially exploited in their future activity - throughout the former COMECOM countries or other similar economies.
Acronym: 
LODE(P)STAR
Project ID: 
1 574
Start date: 
01-07-1996
Project Duration: 
52months
Project costs: 
1 500 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.