It is a universal truth that, the land and water resources are finite.
Wastes generated by a production are a loss to company. They also deplete natural resources, as these unwanted products consume the precious raw materials, Apart from that wastes are damaging the environment. Thus, the reduction of wastes in manufacturing processes is of prime concern for companies to reduce losses to the company as well serving for the betterment of the environment to the society at large.
Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited (RCF), which manufactures fertilisers (nitrogenous and complex) and various industrial chemicals, has accepted the principle in its true spirit and is addressing the issue with various initiatives.
Through various measures such as recycle and reuse of water by elaborate effluent treatment schemes, revamping of the plants for minimal water usage, deployment of state of the art technology like deep hydrolyser system in urea plant, reuse of steam condensate in various plants, etc, RCF has drastically reduced its water requirement.
RCF is trying to identify and use eco-friendly technologies that produce less waste. It is also trying to reuse treated effluents to the maximum possible extent. From time to time, it is adopting new technologies to improve energy efficiencies to make the plants more eco-friendly and competitive.
Waste to wealth
RCF has taken a step ahead in waste management to convert items currently classified as wastes into wealth realisation potential for the company. A few of the prime examples of waste to wealth initiatives by RCF are as under:
Earning Certified Emission Reduction Certificates
RCF operates two nitric acid plants. During the process of manufacture of nitric acid, nitrous oxide (N2O), an undesired product, one of the GHGs (Green House Gases), is formed. RCF has installed a secondary catalyst in the reactors of nitric acid plants to destroy the N2O and convert it into harmless N2 and O2 gases. Under Kyoto Protocol, resulting into generation of Certified Emission Reduction (CER) certificates. Under this mechanism, 310 CERs are given per tonne of N2O reduced. Based on the operations of RCF, yearly 1 million CERs are expected to be generated from N2O abatement from the two nitric acid plants. At the prevalent rate of 2-3 Euro per CER in the market, these shall relate to generation of around Rs 20 crore per annum to RCF.
Value addition to phosphogypsum:
RCF Trombay unit operates a 100 MTPD capacity phosphoric acid plant, which generates about 4.5 MT of phosphogypsum (a solid hazardous waste) as a by-product per every MT of phosphoric acid produced. RCF has adopted Rapidwall technology for converting waste phosphogypsum into load bearing wall panels - a revolutionary, low-cost, prefabricated walling product with broad construction applications.
Generation of pure water from municipal sewage: Industries need large quantities of water. In 1999-2000, RCF set up a sewage treatment plant (STP) in Mumbai, which treats 5 million gallons (MG) of sewage to produce 3 MG of industry grade water. The reclaimed water of desired quality is stored in a 10,000 M3 open storage tank and pumped to various plants through a dedicated piping network. Buoyed by the success of this plant, RCF is planning to setup one more sewage treatment plant at Trombay having capacity of 3 MG per day (13,638 kilolitres/day).
Due to its systematic, dedicated and innovative approach towards reduction of waste, RCF Trombay, is able to adopt more stringent environmental practices as compared to other fertiliser units and cause less problems to people in urban area of Mumbai.