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Rhein Chemie Reduces its Environmental Footprint at its Chardon, Ohio, Manufacturing Plant

After one year, energy efficiency and waste reduction projects yielding significant results

In 2008, Rhein Chemie Corporation began implementing a package of initiatives designed to improve energy efficiency and reduce waste at its Chardon, Ohio, manufacturing plant. In less than two years, the projects have yielded measurable savings.

A major overhaul at the Chardon plant was a lighting exchange project, which replaced the previous lighting system with new high bay fluorescent fixtures that use electronic ballasts and F32 T-8 high lumen lamps. Since its implementation, the project has reduced general lighting usage by 11 percent. The new lighting system offers instant-on capabilities and improves the quality of light by raising the Color Rendering Index (CRI) from 62 to 85. By offering lighting products that increase lamp life from 20,000 to 30,000 hours and do not require special disposal, Rhein Chemie expects to save more than 10 percent on electrical costs over the next ten years.

Another project that has helped conserve natural resources was the replacement of machines that were heated and cooled using water with machines that use an electric, closed-loop system for heating and cooling. In doing so, Rhein Chemie has been able to reduce its water consumption by 50 percent year-on-year since 2008.

Waste reduction in the manufacturing process has also been a major initiative for Rhein Chemie. The company has managed to decrease its number of pelletizing systems from two to one. Used to convert product into pellet form, these systems generate unsellable waste particles during the cutting and drying process. By reducing the number of systems running simultaneously, the amount of generated waste has been cut in half and the required changeover time reduced from 12 hours to 2 hours.

Rhein Chemie also recycles waste oil, a by-product of their manufacturing process, by shipping it to other users for re-use. The recycling project reduces the amount of oil disposed of in landfills by 30 to 50 drums per year, or 3,000 gallons of oil.

“The energy improvements we’ve made in Chardon make perfect business sense because the long-term savings greatly outweigh the short-term costs, and in only a short time, we are already seeing positive results,” said Rhein Chemie Corporation President Hector Diaz-Stringel. “These projects are another example of how Rhein Chemie is a socially responsible corporate citizen.”

These projects are a result of the continuous improvement initiatives at Rhein Chemie, a RC14001-certified company, and are a part of LANXESS’s overall efforts to support sustainable solutions by investing in more efficient technologies and processes in its facilities around the world.