The Gunma Complex's Approach to Reducing Waste Materials and Preventing Air Pollution
Efforts are underway at the Gunma Complex to achieve the Shin-Etsu Group's goal of zero waste emissions (a 1% or less ratio of final landfill disposal volume to waste generation volume). These efforts also include promoting waste generation reduction in terms of emission intensity. Besides, emissions reduction targets have been set to prevent air pollution. Measures to reduce emissions have been implemented, such as switching to fuels with a lower environmental load.
Industrial waste materials from each plant are collected for incineration and disposal at the incineration facility at the Isobe plant. To reduce chemical substances emissions from this incineration facility, the Isobe plant is working on operation management optimization through around-the-clock operation and stable incineration at high temperatures. Its efforts also extend to utilizing the heat generated at the incineration facility to produce steam for each plant.
The Gunma Complex positively uses natural gas as an environment-friendly energy source along with electricity. Natural gas is an ideal energy source: it does not produce much nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions, which are deemed responsible for acid rain and air pollution, and produces no sulfur oxide (SOX) emissions (see the figure above).
The Gunma Complex is among the earliest that started efforts to reduce cyclic siloxane emissions into the air. Its silicone production process produces exhaust gases containing tiny amounts of cyclic siloxanes. Meanwhile, its monomer production process collects cyclic siloxane components and recycles 99% or more of the emissions as raw materials. At the Gunma Complex, most of the tiny amounts of methylsilane contained in exhaust gases from methylsilane production are collected for reuse as the raw material for silicone products, leaving the rest for removal by the scrubber. The Gunma Complex is committed to improving its processes and enhancing its recycling rate to 99% or more.