Eastman bags energy efficiency awards from ACC


For the 17th consecutive year since the program began, Eastman Chemical Company earned energy efficiency awards from the American Chemistry Council (ACC). As part of the Responsible Care program, the ACC honors specific projects that have achieved distinction in reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Eastman received four awards, two of which received an ‘exceptional merit’ designation.

“Eastman is honored to be awarded again. This recognition demonstrates Eastman’s continued commitment to being a sustainable company, and specifically to improving energy efficiency and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Jim Rogers, CEO.

ACC presented a total of 51 awards with sixteen of the projects given the `exceptional merit` designation. Winners were selected from five categories: Environmental Impact, Energy Efficiency Program, Non-Manufacturing Improvement, Significant Improvement in Manufacturing, and Public Outreach. Eastman’s four awards were for Significant Improvement in Manufacturing, which recognizes companies that improve energy efficiency in their manufacturing operations through technical innovations, creative projects or implementation of novel or established procedures or actions.

Eastman’s Kingsport, Tennessee site received two ‘exceptional merit’ awards:

Implementation of a campaign strategy to increase hydroquinone yield and energy efficiency by running the plant at maximum production rates, building inventory, then taking extended shutdowns to control inventory to acceptable levels and lower overall energy use. The project saved almost 106,000 MMBtus for a 16 percent annualized energy savings compared to 2008. This energy savings translates to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 11,000 tons of CO2 equivalent.

Replacement of sieve trays in three large distillation columns with high-efficiency distillation trays that improved the hydraulic profile and separation efficiency.

Additionally, distillation modeling identified a more efficient way to operate and control the columns once the high-efficiency trays were installed. The result was lower reflux rates, improved control and significantly improved energy efficiency. The column energy consumption improved 13 percent, saving 220,000 MMBtus and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 23,000 tons.

In addition to these `exceptional merit` awards, the Kingsport site was recognized for two additional projects:

Installation of a new type of orifice trap in a base heater of a distillation column that runs almost constantly and uses a large amount of steam. The new trap can handle a large range of loads without allowing the escape of live steam and has resulted in a 10 percent reduction of steam used. Annualized energy saved in 2009 was 89,500 MMBtus and 9400 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions reduced.

Installation of feed pre-heaters on two flash columns. These heat interchangers preheat the column feed by transferring heat from an overhead vapor stream or bottom waste water stream. The project reduced energy consumption on these columns by 34 percent, saving 110,000 MMBtus and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 11,500 tons.

Combined, these projects save 525,500 MM BTUs and 54,900 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually. That’s enough energy to power 14,000 homes and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from over 8000 cars!

“Due to the economic climate of 2009, Eastman’s efficiency efforts shifted to reducing energy costs without capital investments,” said Ray Ratheal, Director, Energy and Climate Change Policy. “These four winning projects are innovative examples of achieving energy efficiency through creative redesign, exploration and trials with new types of equipment, initiation of campaign strategies, and operational changes.”

Eastman is one of 12 American Chemistry Council member companies to be recognized through the 2009 Responsible Care Energy Efficiency Awards. ACC reported that improvements made by these companies cumulatively saved enough BTUs to power all the homes in a city the size of Dayton, Ohio for one year.

Eastman Chemical Company

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