Economic Benefits

For the Germanakos tannery, which has a chrome recycling capacity of 12 m3/d, the approximate costs were as follows14:

Savings (USD/yr) Operating cost (USD/yr) Total net savings (USD/yr) Capital investment (USD) Payback

Cost Saving in 2007 USD

95,880 39,260 56,620 52,000 11 months

Savings can be made with any plant processing more than 1.7 m3/d.

1.9.9 Minimization of Organic Solvents in Degreasing and Painting of Metals

Thorn Jarnkonst of Sweden produces lighting fixtures from aluminum or steel sheets for indoor and outdoor use. The production amounts to 750,000 units. They employ about 650 people. In 1988 the company merged with Thorn EMI, the main branch being located in England.

Metal working, degreasing, and painting are the main phases in this production process. The degreasing of the metal sections has been carried out in the past by using the volatile organic compound trichloroethylene, which is a pollutant and an environmental hazard.

The painting plant consisted of an automatic liquid lacquer line, with different colors using different organic solvents. The air pollution and the accumulated remaining products were a considerable problem, both within the plant and externally.

When the company planned to expand production the local authorities ordered the company to reduce its current air emissions. As a result the company intended to install equipment to capture the trichloroethylene and incinerate the solvents from the painting plant.31 However, an independent research organization, by carrying out a pollution prevention audit, suggested an alternative approach having environmental benefits.

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