Emissions

Emissions

The predominant part of ALTANA’s climate-relevant emissions come from direct (Scope 1) and indirect (Scope 2) energy consumption (see left column). They are calculated based on the guidelines of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, an instrument for quantifying and managing greenhouse gas emissions, and
the factors of the International Energy Agency. For electricity, we have considered the values of the national network in each case and not the values of a special electricity provider.

Other relevant greenhouse gases from production processes etc. are not emitted in significant amounts, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) arise solely from energy consumption, and are calculated accordingly. Ozone-depleting substances are not contained in any raw materials used by ALTANA, are not used in manufacturing processes, and do not exist in products. Several ALTANA companies emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs – see also page 20). The companies do not continuously measure VOCs, but estimate them from random samples instead. Based on these estimates, the amount is around 200 tons worldwide. The permitted emission volumes are defined by law in the countries in which we produce. We keep within these limits at all of our sites, usually with the help of waste air purification by means of thermal afterburning.

Initiatives to reduce greenhouse gases

We significantly surpassed our target of reducing our CO2 emissions between 2007 and 2012 (related to gross added value) by 10 percent, cutting them by 21 percent. By 2020, we seek a decrease by about 30 percent. In this context, we would like to make mention of our new cogeneration or combined heat and power plant (CHP) in the ELANTAS factory in Ascoli, Italy (see also Sustainability Report 2011). The CHP improves our CO2 balance not solely due to the more efficient energy conversion, but also through the use of biogenic fuels.

As expected, the plant provided around 900 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity and some 300 MWh of heat. But the information is not complete, as the CHP has only been operated continuously since June 2012. Since the costs for vegetable oil exceeded the original cost estimate by 30 percent, the amortization period was extended from two-and-a-half to eight years. As a result, less expensive alternative fuels are currently being looked into. The photovoltaic unit in Ascoli, however, lagged around 10 percent behind expectations, with an energy yield of around 900 MWh of CO2-neutral electricity.

We will reduce other CO2 emissions by switching from oil to natural gas at ECKART in Güntersthal. The plant is expected to go into operation in the fall of 2013 and to cut the amount of CO2 by about 1,500 tons. A conversion to gas is also being prepared at ELANTAS Zhuhai. But there is still no municipal gas pipeline because so far not enough other customers have been found.

Projects to reduce VOC emissions


Emissions of solvents (VOCs) can be reduced through the use of exhaust air purification units. Another measure is the use of material and product tanks. The filling of the tanks through vapor recovery pipelines, which are used to feed solvent vapor back into the tanker, and the dosing of the raw material into the production container, occur via closed pipelines. Hence no VOC emissions can leak out in either process, as opposed to usage of barrels where this cannot be avoided.

We invested in tanks at several sites. At ELANTAS Tongling, it is primarily intermediate products containing cresol that are stored in tanks. As a result, the smell of cresol is no longer as strong in the surrounding air. In addition, ACTEGA Rhenacoat set up a new tank farm as part of the refurbishment of the entire site (see also page 26). ELANTAS Beck India installed eight and ELANTAS Zhuhai six new tanks. ELANTAS Beck in Hamburg also expanded its tank farm in 2012.

Efforts are being made to further reduce VOC emissions at ELANTAS PDG as well. While the factory has had raw material tanks for years, there has been no pipeline dosing. So far, the raw materials have been dosed from the tanks into barrels and from there into the vessels – in other words, openly. Furthermore, in 2010, following an accident in the exhaust air purification unit, a new facility with better safety equipment went into operation and the production process that caused the accident was altered. The old unit is now being kept only for emergencies. ACTEGA Foshan significantly reduced the limit of its total VOC emissions, particularly hydrocarbons and xylene, thanks to a new exhaust air purification system with active carbon filters.