OMNOVA Solutions’ (NYSE: OMN) Performance Chemicals and GE (NYSE: GE) have implemented a sustainable water solution in a greater Green Bay (Village of Howard), Wis., facility to save 3.6 million gallons of water per year, lessening the stress on fresh water sources, thus reducing environmental impact. The approach to OMNOVA Solutions’ water treatment challenges included a new GE reverse osmosis (RO) system and a cooling water treatment chemistry program that allowed the company to reuse water by sending the RO concentrate into the cooling tower system instead of the sewer.
Previously, OMNOVA Solutions used a deionized water system to treat the incoming city water to be used in the plant’s manufacturing processes. OMNOVA decided to upgrade to new technology due to the high cost of maintaining the old system as well as reliability issues that threatened to affect plant production and product quality. Environmental, health and safety concerns related to the use of caustic and sulfuric acid for regeneration of the old system also were key considerations.
The implementation of two of GE’s Pro-50 RO systems, along with GE’s Continuum AEC Alkaline treatment program, resulted in a substantial reduction in fresh water usage and a yearly net savings for OMNOVA of $120,000. The new system also is much safer for employees and the environment since there is no more acid or caustic usage. Recognizing OMNOVA’s commitment to sustainability and the environment, the Green Bay project received today a GE ecomagination Leadership Award.
“Innovation and a commitment to reducing our environmental footprint are both hallmarks of the way we do business at OMNOVA Solutions,” said James Hohman, president of OMNOVA’s Performance Chemicals business unit. “Partnering with GE on this important project for our Green Bay area plant provided an excellent opportunity to apply a novel approach to the treatment of our process water, and in doing so, to significantly reduce our water usage. This has had a major positive impact for OMNOVA and for the surrounding community. We are delighted that GE has chosen to honor these efforts with their ecomagination Leadership Award.”
Ecomagination is GE’s corporate-wide sustainable business strategy to address challenges such as the need for cleaner, more efficient sources of energy, reduced emissions and abundance sources of clean water. The GE ecomagination Leadership Award is given to the top one percentile of GE’s customers who demonstrate significant environmental and economical performance improvements, striking a balance between today’s environmental, industrial and sustainability challenges.
“We are pleased to present OMNOVA Solutions with an ecomagination Leadership award in recognition of their significant efforts in reducing water usage and improving the environment while maintaining safety,” said Adrian Peace, North American business leader, GE Power & Water. “Our ecomagination leadership awards are given to the best of the best. This project with OMNOVA Solutions is a great example of working together to deliver positive economic and environmental impact with quantifiable results.”
The OMNOVA Solutions facility is located just northwest of Green Bay in the Village of Howard. Village President Burt McIntyre offered congratulations, saying, “The Village of Howard is proud to celebrate with OMNOVA Solutions their significant achievement and the receipt of the prestigious award from GE for work in water and process technology. Businesses that put in place programs which contribute to improving environmental conditions not only benefit themselves, but also the communities in which they operate. We are proud of OMNOVA and recognize, as did GE, their quality achievement.”
OMNOVA Solutions Inc. is a technology-based company with 2009 sales of $696 million and a current workforce of 2,300 employees worldwide. OMNOVA is an innovator of emulsion polymers, specialty chemicals and decorative and functional surfaces for a variety of commercial, industrial and residential end uses. OMNOVA’s Green Bay, Wis., plant is North America’s newest specialty latex facility. It produces synthetic latex used in paper coatings and various specialty chemical applications such as nonwoven products. The facility employs 54 people.
Source: GE Energy