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Exxon Company USA

Year Submitted: 2003

Process: Sandblasting

Industry: Petroleum Refining

Wastes Reduced: Non-hazardous Solid Waste

Location: Baton Rouge LA

No. of employees: Over 500

Contact: Walt Eldredge

Phone: (504) 359-7598


The Exxon Baton Rouge Refinery contains thousands of miles of pipe and hundreds of tanks, pressure vessels, and other equipment which all need continuous repainting. Historically, the facility used 500 to 1,000 tons per year of coal slag to sandblast surfaces to remove old paint, scale, etc. prior to applying new paint. Coal slag dust wears out, cannot be recycled, and is disposed of as solid waste. Furthermore, sandblasting to remove lead-based paints produces an abrasive/paint mixture characterized as hazardous waste.In 1997, Exxon began using garnet sand instead of coal slag for surface cleaning. Garnet is very hard and can withstand three to five uses as an abrasive. A new onsite recycling mill with a rotary drum and an air wash stream separates re-usable garnet from dust, fines, rust, scale, and old paint. Only non-reusable portions are classified as wastes. Garnet sand use began in May of 1997.

Environmental Benefits:

From May through December 1997, Exxon used only 92 tons of new garnet sand as opposed to using 682 tons of coal slag to do the same work. This translates to 585 less tons of non-hazardous solid waste and 106 less tons of hazardous waste generated for this time period.

Details of Reductions

Source: LDEQ

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