458893 Evaluation of Low-Energy Recovery of N-Methyl-2-Pyrrolidone Solvent from Waste Streams in Specialty Resin Manufacture
Alternative distillation designs were explored, but none reduced energy consumption and life cycle carbon emissions as significantly as the economic life cycle impact. More sustainable low energy separations were investigated. Various membrane, adsorption, and extraction separation strategies have the potential to reduce energy demand, but each has its own limitations. An extraction operation was selected as the best candidate for separation, and the proposed process considers alternative uses for the recovered NMP waste in other manufacturing scenarios.
Results with a chloroform extraction operation to produce NMP of suitable quality for alternative use, provides the best option for solvent recovery. The new process can not only yield environmental life cycle improvements, based on various impact factors, but provide economic benefits as well. Yearly projections of waste reductions, life cycle improvements, energy utilization, and cost savings are presented. Life cycle carbon emissions are reduced by over 60% compared to the base case. Since NMP is a prominent solvent for several commercial sectors, methods aimed at reducing waste help promote broader sustainability goals. This study shows how sustainability metrics can be used to guide decision making when evaluating other processing alternatives and uses of the final product. (This work is partially supported by a grant from the EPA Pollution Prevention program).
See more of this Group/Topical: Environmental Division