Two sustainability projects and 15 facilities at Huntsman were recently recognized at the 2021 Responsible Care Awards hosted by the American Chemistry Council. The virtual ceremony, held on April 26, 2021, recognized the extraordinary efforts of companies across the U.S. who are actively managing safety and environmental stewardship. Here’s how Huntsman stood out from the crowd.
Waste Minimization, Reuse and Recycling Award
Huntsman’s Conroe plant received the Waste Minimization, Reuse and Recycling Award for its TF5 Waste Minimization and Commercialization project. The facility’s 750,000-gallon TF5 wastewater tank collects high-strength wastewater from washouts and processes throughout the plant. Over time, material separates from the wastewater to form an organic layer. Analysis of the organic layer showed a small concentration of hazardous material (1-2 parts per million (ppm) of benzene), which is higher than the hazardous waste limit of 0.5 ppm as defined by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). As a result, more than 1 million pounds per year of this organic layer was classified as hazardous waste! The Conroe team determined that the use of a single raw material – cyclohexane – was contributing to the benzene accumulation. By isolating this stream and diverting the wastewater from the cyclohexane process to an alternative storage tank, the Conroe team succeeded in removing the benzene-producing stream, equal to 40,000 pounds per year, from the organic layer.
Now that the organic layer was free of benzene, the project team focused on the potential commercialization of the material. A beneficial reuse customer was identified that would use the organic layer as a raw material in the production of a fuel cutter stock. Using Huntsman’s product evolution process for development of a new product, the team proceeded to create a new safety data sheet for the product, revise the shipping and loading procedures, and complete piping modifications to ensure efficient loading and shipment of the material to meet customer specifications.
While initially developed as a waste minimization project, the innovative efforts of the cross-functional team enabled the elimination of the entire 1-million-pound hazardous waste stream from the facility, saving $500,000 per year and turned it into a new valuable raw material for a more energy efficient fuel cutter stock. Now that’s a sustainable solution!
Product Safety Award
The sustainability of Huntsman’s products is critical to our business. Regulators around the globe are encouraging the substitution of hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives to reduce the potential risks to human health and the environment. Additionally, there is growing demand by customers for transparency and disclosure of substances of concern over the whole supply chain. These two factors contributed to the development of a tool to evaluate, consolidate and measure the risks in a scientific and logical manner.
Developed in-house, the Substances of Concern Tool (SoC) provides both an immediate view regarding substance and product level risks as well as a long-term view on product sustainability. This innovative tool is easy to use and useful to all Huntsman businesses as they evaluate current and future product slates. The tool uses 29 external lists as the basis for reviewing the risks of substances. Through a combination of publicly available data and company confidential data, Huntsman is able to assign a risk factor for substances as well as Huntsman products, assess the potential impact to the business and determine the long-term view of the relevance and sustainability of these products to the company. The result is faster and smarter decisions around Huntsman’s product portfolio as we contribute to a more sustainable society.
Facility Safety Awards
The safety of employees and the community are Huntsman’s highest priorities. Fifteen of Huntsman’s facilities in the U.S. were recognized for their safety performance:
Award of Achievement – recognizing facilities with zero fatalities and zero days away from work for employees
Charlotte, North Carolina
Award of Honor – recognizing facilities with zero fatalities, zero days away from work and zero job transfer/restriction cases for employees
Award of Excellence – recognizing facilities with zero fatalities, zero days away from work and zero job transfers/restriction cases for employees and contractors
Auburn Hills, Michigan
East Lansing, Michigan
Houston, Texas (IL)
Houston, Texas (Terol)
Maple Shade, New Jersey
Merrimack, New Hampshire
Huntsman Advanced Technology Center – The Woodlands, Texas
Waterway One – The Woodlands, Texas
Congratulations to each of these projects and facilities for representing Huntsman well in our commitment to safe and sustainable operations.