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In China, too, LANXESS is setting standards for environmentally friendly production. The site in Wuxi has been certified according to the strict, globally acknowledged ISO standards 14001 and 9001. The production plants in Wuxi have so far received fourteen awards for their outstanding commitment to the environment.
In 2004, for example, LANXESS became the first company to be voted an "Environmental Friendly Company" by China's environment authority. On this occasion, the Chinese government honored the site by issuing a special postage stamp. In 2005, the Chinese government presented LANXESS with the most coveted award for ecologically responsible production. China's Premier Wen Jiabao personally visited the plant in 2007 and was impressed by the way energy consumption and waste production were being consistently reduced.
The Jinshan facility of the Inorganic Pigments business unit opened in 2007 and is another shining example of environmentally friendly production. The iron oxide plant is one of the first in China with an ultra-modern wastewater plant that is directly linked to the industrial water treatment facility. LANXESS saved over 30 percent in energy costs in 2007 thanks to this innovative technology. The specialty chemicals company also saved 1,000 to 1,500 cubic meters of water each month by recycling the cooling water.
From 2010, the new Jhagadia production facility will be the only site owned by a western company in India to focus on supplying the rapidly growing local tire market with rubber chemicals.
The new plant boasts state-of-the-art green technology. For example, wastewater is thoroughly pre-cleaned before it is released into the large treatment plant at the Jhagadia Chemical Park. This process takes place in a separate, ultra-modern LANXESS treatment plant and ensures that all used water is already close to drinking water quality when it leaves the company premises. It is then treated again at the chemical park’s own treatment plant.
In addition a new production plant for ion exchange resins will be established at the Jhagadia location. It will have a big effect on the requirement for clean water in India. The resin products for ion exchangers are used to treat water and a number of other liquids too. Over and above water purification technology is crucially important for the treatment of industrial water, food production and power generation.
Another development particularly worth mentioning is the new facility’s energy recovery system for the production of ion exchange resins. LANXESS is building its own highly efficient power plant on site to safeguard energy supplies. This will run on eco-friendly natural gas and takes the form of a cogeneration plant, i.e. it will supply the raw materials with both steam and electricity.
At the LANXESS site in Nagda, domestic sewage from the township is being treated to be able to use it as fill-up water for the cooling towers of the plant. Part of the treated water is further purified so that it can be used as boiler feed water for steam generation in the cogeneration plant at the site.
For this innovative approach to recycling domestic sewage and harnessing it for industrial use, LANXESS received the “Water Resource Management” award from the Indian Chemical Council in December 2009.
Water is essential for our survival and a key raw material for chemical production. In order to protect this valuable resource on a long-term basis, LANXESS has invested EUR 5.5 million in improved wastewater treatment at its Technical Rubber Products site in La Wantzenau. Since it opened in 2006, the plant has significantly improved the quality of wastewater, cutting the amount of suspended particles by around 40 percent.
LANXESS has taken a critical look at the environmental credentials of all its production processes at the Porto Feliz site (Brazil). The specialty chemical group’s “Retro Washing Project” has lowered the volume of wastewater and thus wastewater treatment costs thanks to innovative process optimization.
The result is clear to see – less waste, fewer raw materials and less water – this new economy is kind on the environment and more cost-effective. Water consumption has fallen by around 50 percent since 2004 and the amount of waste generated by roughly 40 percent. A positive side-effect of this is that operating costs have also fallen significantly, while further improvements have been seen in productivity and product quality. The site has received several certifications for its green production methods.