US-based Chemours plans to use the improvements being made at its Fayetteville Works site in North Carolina site to drastically reduce emissions of fluoro compounds as a model for its other fluoroproducts sites, its CEO said on Monday.
“We are creating a state-of-the-art facility at our Fayetteville plant. I will put us up against anybody in the world around process emissions,” said Mark Vergnano, CEO of Chemours, in an interview with ICIS.
“We’re spending over $100m… and that facility will be up and running by the end of the year, effectively not putting any emissions into the water or the air that are fluoro compounds,” he added.
Chemours at its Fayetteville Works site adjacent to the Cape Fear River produces refrigerants and ion exchange resins along with other fluoro products.
When the company announced the investment to reduce emissions in May 2018, it aimed to reduce air and water emissions of C3 dimer acid (also known as GenX) and other PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl substances) compounds by 99%. This involves building a thermal oxidizer and thermolysis reactor on site.
The thermal oxidizer mixes inputs with oxygen at high temperatures to break down fluoro compounds to reduce emissions into the air.
Part of the improvements at Fayetteville were outlined in the consent order with the state of North Carolina approved by the court in February 2019, but Chemours is going “well beyond that as well”, said the CEO.
Chemours was sued in North Carolina over the fluoro compounds.
“This is a true model for us that we’re going to be using and duplicating at all our facilities,” said Vergnano.
The company is in the process of analysing its fluoroproducts footprint worldwide and evaluating additional actions, he added.
Planned capital spending at other facilities will depend on the site, partly based on what has already been done, said the CEO.
Chemours is also making a similar investment at its Dordrecht, Netherlands site to the tune of around €80m. That project is expected to be complete in 2020.
Chemours also has fluoroproducts production sites in Washington, West Virginia, US and Changshu, China.
The actions and planned investment are in line with Chemours’ sustainability goals where it strives to be a “different kind of chemistry company” that offers products that promote sustainability, is a responsible partner in the communities where it operates, and that is more sustainable in the way it uses resources, said Vergnano.
At its Chemours’ titanium dioxide (TiO2) facilities, it aims to reduce landfill intensity for waste, and also significantly reduce CO2 emissions by switching from coal-fired to natural gas-fired steam and heat, he said.
By Joseph Chang
Source: ICIS News
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