Case Study on Waste Reduction
100% Reduction in Hazardous Waste Generation VPS Testing & Inspection, La Porte, TX, USA
Due to the testing of fuel oils in the laboratory, solvents are used to clean the instruments between testing samples and to wash glassware. Also, the entirety of a sample, provided by a customer, is not consumed in the analysis process, so VPS is responsible to dispose of the remaining fuel oil. Prior to 2020, this mix of solvents and fuel oils were collected as wastes, were transported, and burned for energy recovery or sent to a landfill per local regulatory requirements. In 2020, VPS was presented with the opportunity to provide these waste products to a transitional company to be used as a feedstock to create biofertilizers. The wastes are metabolized with algae to create a bio feedstock which is then put into a production process to make the biofertilizer. Since the processing facility is using the VPS waste products, they are no longer required to purchase virgin feedstock for their production process.
As a result, the waste products are no longer “considered as wastes”, and the VPS La Porte facility will no longer be a Large Quantity Hazardous Waste Generator (which produce over 1,000 kilograms of hazardous waste per month). In addition to reclassifying the waste, the carbon footprint for VPS is lowered since the transitional company will generate carbon credits, presenting a sustainable approach and a circular economy.
Case Study on Energy Saving
31% Reduction in Electrical Usage VPS, Singapore
Our Singapore facility had an ageing air-conditioning system which was providing insufficient cooling and ventilation for the offices and laboratories. The system was working beyond optimal efficiency requiring increasing amounts of energy (H1 2020 average monthly usage of 164,093 kWh). It was noted that from 2017, although 20% more energy was being used by the system (2017 average monthly usage of 137,056 kWh) the ventilation and cooling capacity of the system had decreased.
In July 2020 a new air-conditioning and mechanical ventilation (ACMV) system was installed to address this problem. This newly installed unit operates much mor efficiently, reducing the amount of energy required to maintain sufficient cooling and ventilation for the offices and laboratories (July-Sep 2020 average monthly usage of 112,870 kWh).
The new ACMV system has reduced energy consumption by 31% leading to a reduction of CO2 emissions of 31%.
Case Study on Solvent Use Reduction
50% Reduction in Solvent Waste & Reuse of Sampling Supplies VPS Transoil, Manchester, UK
VPS Transoil tests 25,000 transformer oil samples every year. Each sample is taken in a glass bottle which needs to be thoroughly cleaned and dried prior to re-use. Historically, this process was accomplished by rinsing the bottles thoroughly with IsoPropyl Alcohol (IPA) and then oven drying.
An industrial bottle-washer has been installed which uses acid and alkali-based detergents that neutralise one another during the cleaning process. As a result, the use of IPA has been eliminated from the bottlecleaning process, reducing the laboratory use of IPA by 50% and saving around 1,000 litres of IPA per year.