OIT Announces Partner-, Technology-, and Plant-of-the-Year
March 1, 2001DOE's Office of Industrial Technologies announced the winners of its Partner-, Plant-, and Technology-of-the-Year awards in a ceremony at the 4th Industrial Energy Efficiency Symposium and Exposition on Tuesday, February 20. OIT's annual awards represent the very best achievements from a universe that includes literally hundreds of plants and technologies, and thousands of partners. The award recipients were selected by a panel of 15 outside experts based on nominations received from OIT managers and staff.
OIT Partner-of-the-Year for 2001: Carl Irwin
OIT's Partner-of-the-Year demonstrates and exemplifies extraordinary commitment to advancing the goals of Industries of the Future (IOF) partnerships. This individual promotes and advances energy efficiency as a national goal and engages in innovative approaches to joint public-private partnerships. The award is presented to an individual who demonstrates vision in outlook about the potential benefits of industry-government partnerships.
OIT Partner-of-the Year for 2001, Dr. Carl Irwin, is Director of Market Enhancement and Program Development for the National Research Center for Coal and Energy at West Virginia University, in Morgantown. Dr. Irwin has shown outstanding leadership in developing and promoting the State IOF Program in West Virginia, where he enlisted strong support from prominent federal, state, and local officials. Dr. Irwin has been involved with the State IOF Program since its inception. Through his efforts, working groups for the aluminum, steel, glass, chemical, wood products, and metal casting industries have formed in West Virginia. His effort has helped create a model for other states to promote the goals of OIT's IOF program.
OIT Partner-of-the-Year Runners-up for 2001: Michael Greenman and Delmar Raymond
Michael Greenman is Executive Director and founder of the Glass Manufacturing Industry Council in Westerville, Ohio. Mr. Greenman has demonstrated outstanding leadership in fostering collaboration and productive partnership among U.S. glass manufacturers. He has been instrumental in organizing the diverse interests within the glass industry to work in partnership with OIT's Industries of the Future program and other federal agencies. Mr. Greenman was an original member of the drafting committee for Glass: A Clear Vision for a Bright Future, the strategic vision for the glass industry. He is currently an active member in the industry's Environmental Protection and Recycling Subcommittee. Mr. Greenman has implemented and organized both the Glass Manufacturing Industry Council, where he is now executive director, and the Executive Advisory Council.
Delmar Raymond is Director of Strategic Energy Alternatives for Weyerhauser Corp. in Federal Way, Washington. He has been involved with the industries of the Future program from its inception. Dr. Raymond has participated in creating visions and roadmaps for bioenergy and combined heat and power. He has participated in and presented briefings at the Washington State Forest Products State IOF meeting and also is a member of the Maine State IOF Activity. He co-chairs the Chief Technology Officers Committee which is charged with implementing and promoting the forest products vision, "Agenda 2020." He continues to promote the IOF and Agenda 2020 through presentations at conferences, invited speeches, and publications.
OIT Technology-of-the-Year for 2001: Polylactic Acid Polymers
OIT's Technology-of-the-Year exhibits exceptional commercialization potential and significant potential for energy efficiency improvement, economic benefit and/or environmental benefit. The winning technology exhibits actual or potential widespread use in industry.
OIT's Technology-of-the-Year 2001, Polylactic Acid Polymers (PLA), are biodegradable polymers produced from a renewable resource--sugar. The process includes: extracting the sugar from biomass materials, using the sugar to ferment lactic acid, separating and purifying the lactic acid, forming the lactide dimer from the lactic acid, and polymerizing the lactide dimer to PLA. Polylactic acid polymers are crystalline with unique and very beneficial properties. The versatility and anticipated price/performance of the newly generated PLA will enable it to displace a significant volume of fossil fuel-based polymers. The current U.S. sales volume for plastics is about 70 billion lb/yr. The projected volume for PLA in 2020 is 8 billion lb/yr. There are also many significant economic, energy, and environmental benefits to PLA. The economic benefits include an estimated $2 billion/yr of net income that will accrue to the PLA manufacturing value chain in 2020. About $367 million/yr of new revenues will go to the agriculture community for harvesting, collection, and transportation of the feedstock. Energy benefits are estimated to save 192 trillion Btu/yr of fossil derived fuels in 2020 by the displacement of 8 billion/yr of fossil fuel-based polymers with PLA. The environmental benefits will provide a reduction of 10 million tons of CO2 emissions in 2020 by the displacement of 8 billion/yr of fossil fuel-based polymers with PLA. Partners: Cargill Dow and NREL.
OIT Technology-of-the-Year Runners-up for 2001: InfinityTM Nylon (Carpet) Renewal Process and Characterization Tool for the Wood and Pulp Industry
The InfinityTM Nylon (Carpet) Renewal Process will allow carpets to be fed into the newly developed Evergreen Nylon Recycling (ENR) facility, a commercial-scale nylon recycling plant. The nylon carpet is converted back to virgin quality caprolactam, the monomer building block of all "nylon six" products. The ENR will keep more than 200 million pounds of post-consumer "nylon six" carpet waste out of land fills each year. With carpet representing 2% of total waste in U.S. landfills, this venture will reclaim 20% of all discarded "nylon six" carpet and produce approximately 100 million pounds of new caprolactam a year. The novel InfinityTM Nylon closed-loop process is a model of energy efficiency in saving 700,000 barrels of oil, equal to 4.4. trillion Btu of energy, annually that would have been needed to manufacture caprolactam from petroleum feedstock. The Evergreen system will allow project partners to produce its InfinityTM Nylon for all application of "nylon six," including high-performance carpet fibers that exhibit all the design and performance characteristics of virgin nylon. Partners: Honeywell (formerly Allied Signal Inc. Performance Polymers), DSM Chemicals North America, Inc.
The Characterization Tool for the Wood and Pulp Industry combines analytical spectroscopy with a multivariate statistical method termed "chemometrics." The tool has shown successful real-time, on-line measurement of chemical properties of feedstocks and products in the pulp and paper industry. The newly developed real-time tool monitors the percentages of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin of the entering wood chip stream and the pulp leaving the pulp mill. The tool can determine the chemical composition of finished paper. By using this tool, the mill operator can adjust the paper making process severity, thereby saving energy, reducing emissions, and reducing costs. It is estimated that 1.5 trillion Btu can be saved thereby displacing over 30,000 tons of carbon equivalent each year. Partners: Weyerhauser Corp., Champion International, Westvaco, Georgia-Pacific, Rayonier, Mead.
OIT Plant-of-the-Year for 2001: USX Corp.'s Mon-Valley Works
OIT's Plant-of-the-Year demonstrates exceptional documented energy savings from project(s) implemented during the qualification period. Other factors that enter into the selection process for Plant-of-the-Year include: the potential for replication of the technology within the plant, the company, and the U.S. manufacturing sector; the plant's history of efforts to reduce energy usage; its continuous improvement strategy for energy efficiency and related process and technology improvement opportunities; its project implementation plan, funding commitments, and on-going validation of completed projects.
OIT's first-ever Plant-of-the-Year, USX Corp.'s Mon-Valley Works, is comprised of the Edgar Thomson Plant, located in Braddock, Pennsylvania, and the Irvin Plant, located in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania. The Edgar Thompson Plant created an Energy Conservation Team, consisting of personnel representing all production and maintenance areas, to generate energy conservation ideas and act on all items, which resulted in cost effective return on investment. The plant was also a part of OIT's Pittsburgh Area Steel Technology Showcase. Edgar Thomson undertook four projects in conjunction with the showcase including Blast Furnace Optical Burden Imaging Temperature Measuring System, KTB Degasser Combination Lance (oxygen, burner and video camera), and SRI (Scannerless Range Imaging) Vessel Lining Contour Sensor System, BOP Vessel Optical Off Gas Sensor. The Edgar Thomson Plant also contributed two energy saving technical case studies that will result in $6.1 million in annual energy savings. The Irwin plant also created an Energy Team consisting of personnel representing all production, maintenance, and utility areas.
OIT Plant-of-the-Year Runners-up for 2001: Rohm and Haas Texas Inc., and Weirton Steel
Rohm and Haas Company's Deer Park, Texas, facility is the firm's flagship plant and is the largest monomer manufacturer for key Rohm and Haas products. This plant alone accounts for 35% of all Rohm and Haas corporate energy use. The chemical monomers form the building blocks for other Rohm and Haas products so the energy efficiency at the Deer Park plant translates across the entire supply chain from chemical feedstock to consumer end products. As an additional benefit, the Deer Park plant consists of several different production areas that operate as individual production facilities as Plants-Within-A-Plant (PWP). Due to the implementation of PWP, energy efficiency gains since 1997 have been achieved by capitalizing on the optimization of cross process and overall plant utility integration--an overall systems approach (between PWPs), and by taking advantage of the large amount of by-product energy production. The major achievement was a better integration of this highly complex facility to a new level of energy optimization.
The Weirton Steel Corp., located in Weirton, West Virignia, is committed to continuous technical improvement and innovation. In early 2000, Weirton Steel participated in the Pittsburgh Regional Technology Showcase sponsored by OIT. Weirton participated in several energy-saving projects to (1) optimize pumping systems, (2) modernize the plant utility control system, (3) upgrade its plant steam system (including performing a plant-wide insulation assessment), and (4) develop a retrofit technology for improving its energy efficiency and reducing NOx emissions from high-temperature furnaces. The utility control system modernization project resulted in substantial energy and cost savings as well as more efficient and improved production. In 1999, Weirton Steel implemented a project to completely overhaul the compressed air system at its tin mill. Weirton has also established a Plantwide Energy Management Initiative to identify high-cost energy uses by area and process, analyze, establish and control energy requirements, and ensure that the most efficient use can be accomplished.