Energy & GHG Emissions
The pursuit of energy efficiency helps us support our corporate strategy of operational optimization by generating cost savings from decreased energy consumption.
We continue to make progress in reducing the energy required to manufacture our products. We have set a goal to reduce our energy intensity (the amount of energy needed to make a unit of product) by 10% by 2025 from our base year of 2005.
We are constantly looking for opportunities to introduce energy savings at our facilities including capturing waste heat for production of electricity or producing steam to offset our demands. We deploy state-of-the-art variable speed drives that have reduced our energy demand.
While our long-term energy use and recovery trend continues to decrease, we saw a slight increase in our energy consumption in 2016 compared to 2015 and slightly higher in terms of our energy intensity. This is primarily due to decreases in overall yield in our carbon black facilities. However, we were able to capture and utilize more waste energy from our carbon black facilities and saw the energy intensity decrease in our Purification Solutions segment by over 5%, reflecting improved yields in that business based on a greater use of more efficient production units.
Local Environmental Initiatives
Franklin Facility Partners with Cleco Power for New Clean Energy Center
In partnership with Cleco Corporation, the new center will be able to generate enough energy to power 17,000 homes and will do so without producing any additional emissions. The waste heat captured from our plant will produce steam that will drive a 50 megawatt turbine generator to produce the electricity, which will offset nearly 150,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Together with Cleco, we will help to reduce air pollution while helping to provide reliable, renewable energy generation.
Botlek reduces tank energy consumption
Our carbon black facility in Botlek, the Netherlands has significantly reduced the energy consumption of one of its feedstock storage tanks by applying an insulating coating material that utilizes our ENOVA® aerogel.
The site has seven feedstock tanks that are heated by steam. None of the tanks were insulated which resulted in higher energy consumption due to thermal losses. The site coated one feedstock tank with 3 mm of Tnemec’s AEROLON® thermal insulating coating. In comparison with the non-insulated tanks, this project resulted in a 55% reduction of energy consumption and achieved an internal rate of return of 28%. With this project, the site predicts a savings of €10,000 on energy per year.
Energy Centers Recover 500 Megawatts of Thermal Energy
Throughout our global network of carbon black plants, we have made significant investments to recover energy and reduce our environmental footprint.
Currently, 12 of our 18 carbon black facilities recover waste heat energy from operations in energy centers. We have recovered approximately 500 megawatts (MW) of thermal energy annually. In 2016, we developed a performance metric to measure the gap between the actual performance and the theoretically best available recovery performance with our existing assets and available waste energy. The gap was nearly 15% of the energy we could have recovered with existing assets. In order to reduce this gap, we are executing on a series of technical actions, primarily focused on efficiency improvements. This will enable us to further reduce the amount of energy that we and our customers need to purchase to operate our plants, and therefore reduce the associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.