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MVP2 Awards: National Pollution Prevention Roundtable

Explain how the success of your project eliminated or reduced waste, toxicity, or pollution as compared to past years or as compared to standards, averages, or common practice? What reductions resulted from the implemented changes? 

  • Waste reductions: Boiling differential equates to lower energy consumption; evaporative loss; cycle time.  Solid waste (drums, pallets, shrink wrap, paper, toner) is reduced due to higher efficiency (wetting index). 
  • Toxicity improvements: 811 PPM for NC-786 compared to 50 PPM with HCFC-225 and 0.1 PPM for NPB
  • Pollution reductions: solid, liquid and reduced PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) and ozone depletion elimination + associated energy-related pollution (less energy consumed = less energy generated = less associated pollution)
  • Common practice(s) improved: In comparison to NPB, the need for acid acceptance testing is eliminated further reducing worker exposure (conducted daily or weekly) along with associated evaporative loss. Due to lower temperature (102F compared to 160F) workers can handle parts more safely and quickly resulting in reduced injuries and cycle time. Due to the acquisition cost difference, over 80% of nPB converts incorporate solvent recycling through distillation and reduce overall solvent consumption and disposal by 50-90%.

Describe the project’s innovative policy, communication strategies, and/or technical aspects with respect to pollution prevention.

  • Innovation policy: We departed from the road most traveled and the chemical industry’s 25+ years of adopting chlorinated and flammable co-solvent, 1,2-dichloroethylene or 1,2-DCE in favor of non-chlorinated and non-ozone depleting co-solvents. Wetting index, combination of surface tension, density and viscosity, is the chemical’s physical displacement ability prior to inclusion of agitation (ultrasonic, spray) and/or temperature (heat). NC-786 is 15% higher than HCFC-225 and 40% higher than NPB. For precision cleaning this minimizes the solvent loss during cleaning/degreasing as well as during recycling, distillation. By comparison to aqueous, detergent-based cleaners with wetting index of 31, NC-786 at 174 is over 5 times more efficient. As a consequence, we have companies, government contractors and agencies converting from water back to solvent and eliminating thousands of gallons of water; energy by 30-40% and above all dramatic reduction in worker exposure and material handling.
  • Technical aspects: Lower operating temperature; highest AEL, PPM exposure; higher wetting index, zero ozone depleting potential; very stable and easily recycled through standard distillation

Describe any credibility/public image/management or employee buy-in enhanced as a result of the project or program to connect more with these other groups or give variety of examples.

  • Credibility and public image were dramatically enhanced as a small, multi-million dollar company out innovated two massive, multi-billion dollar companies (3MTM and DuPontTM). Since initial adoption, NC-786 has been tested and approved by US Navy per MIL-PRF 29608B and commercially via Boeing D6-17487, Revision T and ARP 1755B for effect on cleaning agents on aircraft engine materials opening new doors previously closed.

How are the pollution prevention aspects this project transferable to other locations, industries, or organizations?

  • As part of the educational and awareness outreach aspect of our solvent substitutions we incorporate best practices associated with chemical leasing: https://www.chemicalleasing.com/sub/concept.htm and zero business waste: https://uszwbc.org and have submitted award entries and white papers to both organizations. Virtually any industry globally operating vapor degreasing and/or ultrasonic cleaning systems can replace HCFC-225, HCFC-141b, TCE, NPB and many other nonflammable solvents commonly used. In addition, NC-786 is ideal for aerosol packaging and delivery method.

Describe internal organizational changes that may have occurred as a result of this project, as well as with suppliers and customers. For example, what was upper management’s involvement with the project and/or what new corporate/organizational pollution prevention policies were developed as a result of the project or program?

  • Internally, pioneering the non-chlorinated and non-ozone depleting segment of the nonflammable solvent market has spring boarded new blends with even lower VOC content required by state and local mandates. As a result of initial commercialization we have forged deep relationships with equipment manufacturers of vapor degreasing & ultrasonic as well as solvent distillation, recycling systems, which have enabled new conversations with next generation solvent substitution prospects. The environmental profile of NC-786 complements our organizational mission of leaner and greener chemical solutions and is well embraced company-wide.

Describe other benefits, innovations, or unique aspects of the project or program that do not fit under the above categories.

  • Necessity is the mother of invention. Were it not for a highly leveraged company, FluoSolv NC-786 would not have emerged as a commercially viable alternative to the crowded, chlorinated blends that dominate the market and contribute unnecessary VOC emissions. Our design philosophy has always included client collaboration. We are grateful for NPPR’s review and consideration of our hazardous source reduction and latest environmental enhancement.
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