Spent methanol was the largest hazardous waste at the FMC Bayport plant. Methanol is used to regenerate a catalyst in the Hydrogen Peroxide purification process. The regeneration process utilizes methanol as a solvent for organics and thus spent methanol is generated.
The distillation of methanol solvent is a standard process. However, the distillation of methanol contaminated with Hydrogen Peroxide requires special consideration. The concentration of Hydrogen Peroxide in a solution containing organics presents a decomposition hazard. As a result, a team of FMC Engineers and Scientists modified the conventional distillation column design and came up with the innovative idea of direct steam injection in the distillation column. This is not only a more efficient way to transfer energy into the column but it also provides necessary dilution so a high concentration of Hydrogen Peroxide does not occur.
As a result of the implementation of this project, spent methanol, a hazardous waste at the FMC Bayport plant, has been eliminated. Based on 1993 production rate, it is estimated that 330,000 gallons (2,357,000 Lb) of hazardous waste was eliminated (on an annual basis).
Details of Reductions
Additional Information :
The reduction in generation of hazardous waste has resulted in $297,000 savings in disposal costs and $83,000 savings in the materials, not purchased. This amounts to a million Btu savings. The project eliminated environmental liability for the Bayport plant. The plant was able to change its status from a TSD (Treater, Storer, Disposal), facility to a Generator only facility.
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