Opened in 2012, BASF’s production facility In Nanjing is built on a phenomenal scale, producing ingredients vital to China’s rubber, tire, personal care and lubricant industries. The manufacturing processes produce a significant amount of waste liquid each year including 150 tons of waste oil and 450 tons of heavy chemical residue. For the first few years, BASF used government-sponsored resource to treat and dispose of the waste liquid on its behalf.
BASF scientists realized that by applying chemical concepts at scale they could adjust the waste process to introduce intensive heat that would transform the waste oil and residue into energy to power the production process itself.
BASF introduced a sophisticated and automated thermal oxidizer. The oxidizer converts the waste liquid into harmless emissions while generating high-pressure steam. The steam then powers the process. Integrating this system into the production process also means that there is no need to store or transport the waste, nor to pay a vendor to treat it. Avoiding storage and transport altogether increases safety and reduces the costs of running the plant. Together, these benefits add up to carbon emissions reductions and savings of 5 million RMB each year.
In 2018, BASF made adjustments to the oxidizer to further protect the environment. The latest innovation improves air quality by vastly reducing the volume of hazardous gases, cutting the nitrogen oxide to 30 parts per million (ppm) – well below the new legal limit of 100 ppm.
“The waste-to-energy project at the BASF facility in Nanjing demonstrates our commitment to responsible business,” said Cong Jun Xue, Vice President of Environment, Safety and Health Services, BASF Asia Pacific. “We have invested in a plant that is just six years old to significantly improve the safety, efficiency and environmental performance of its waste treatment process. We’re happy that BASF expertise can contribute to protecting our people, our neighbors and the environment."