U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Advanced Manufacturing Office
OIT Announces Partner-, Technology-, and Plant-of-the-Year
March 1, 2001
DOE'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
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
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.