Friday, May 30, 2014

Chemical Alternatives in Wire and Cable Industry

AlphaGary Corporation

AlphaGary Corporation AlphaGary specializes in the design and development of plastic compounds for a variety of applications. Internal company initiatives combined with external factors, including European and Massachusetts laws, influenced AlphaGary to collaborate with its supply chain partners and other stakeholders to investigate less toxic alternatives for lead compounds used as heat stabilizers in formulations for wire and cable products. Investments in research and internal capacities for product design, evaluation, and testing resulted in: the development of new lead-free product formulations that maintained quality and performance; reduced risk to workers handling lead-based materials; reduced medical monitoring and personal exposure monitoring for lead; improved product development capabilities; streamlined product certification processes; and enhanced the company’s competitive global supply position.

Transitioning to Safer Chemical Alternatives in Laundry Detergents

Washing Systems, LLC

Washing Systems Washing Systems, LLC is a chemical supplier to the laundry industry in the U.S. and Canada. In 2005, the company’s leadership made a critical decision to focus 100% of all research and development on new chemical technologies that exhibit safer, environmentally sustainable profiles. The initiative to develop a new "green" line of detergents became an immediate outgrowth of this decision and focused heavily on their use of nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs). The challenge of this initiative was set in seven critical project objectives:
  1. Detergents must be 100% free of NPEs
  2. Detergents must be used as one for one direct replacements for NPE detergents
  3. Detergents must have the same ounce for ounce cost to NPE detergents
  4. Detergents must exhibit the same “end-use” cost to the customer as NPE detergents
  5. Cleaning performance must be equal to or improved over NPE detergents
  6. Wash formulas must maintain the same “rapid rate” wash formulas as NPE detergents
  7. Detergents must be certified by the EPA’s Design for Environment (DfE)
At the end of 2007, Washing Systems’ R&D successfully met each of these objectives. In 2008, Washing Systems launched a new line of NPE-Free detergents into the commercial laundry market. Today, the success of this R&D project is evident to all Washing Systems customers, as all are 100% free of NPEs. This effort has reduced over 4.5 million lbs of NPEs/year from being discharged to the environment.
In addition to eliminating the use of NPEs in its products, Washing Systems has eliminated the use of butyl cellosolve and petroleum hydrocarbon based solvents in detergents, eliminated the use of phosphates and ethylenediaminetraacetic acid (EDTA) within the laundry builders, and reduced the petroleum hydrocarbon based solvents by 46% in other specialty products. The new formulations are not only less hazardous to workers and the environment, but also provide economic and efficiency benefits to Washing System’s customers (i.e., reduced water and energy usage, increased wash productivity, lower chemical costs).
To identify alternatives, the company’s scientists and engineers use CleanGredients®, a database of safer cleaning products ingredients that meet specific health and environmental criteria. The company also uses the GreenScreen, a comparative chemical hazard assessment method, to evaluate and compare hazards of alternative chemicals. Washing Systems carries out extensive in-house performance testing as well as field trials in customers’ facilities to ensure that the alternatives demonstrate superior levels of cleaning quality and operational performance compared to the chemistry it replaces.

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