The safety of our employees and contractors, customers, suppliers, visitors, and neighbors is our highest priority. That is why we do everything we do safely or not at all.
As a chemical company, ARLANXEO bears a great responsibility – especially in view of environmental challenges such as climate change. Therefore, an important goal for us is to reduce the ecological footprint of our products – especially through more energy-efficient production.
All ARLANXEO production sites work continuously to improve their performance in environmental protection – from water consumption to waste water and waste disposal, greenhouse gas emissions, and volatile hydrocarbons. Environmental officers regularly exchange information and develop ideas to fulfill the high environmental standards of ARLANXEO which apply worldwide.
Clever bacteria in Belgium, rainwater in Brazil
In Zwijndrecht, Belgium, ARLANXEO produces butyl rubber. The solvents required for this should not be released into the environment. During the production of rubber crumbs, isolated vessels are used to recover as much of these materials as possible. However, small amounts of residual solvents escape during the subsequent dewatering and drying of the rubber crumbs and thereby enter the exhaust air. At ARLANXEO, the exhaust gases collected in this way are thermally treated. In addition, special exhaust gas streams are cleaned biologically using a specially developed bio-trickling filter, in which bacteria collect the environmentally harmful substances from the air and then destroy them. The heat generated during thermal treatment of the exhaust air is recovered and used to heat the gases flowing into the combustion process.
The ARLANXEO plant in Duque de Caxias, Brazil, utilizes natural rainwater in the production of Emulsion Styrol-Butadiene Rubber (E-SBR). It is treated and reused after use.
Reducing energy consumption
We also continue to reduce our energy consumption – without compromising safety, quality, or efficiency. One lever is solvents: thanks to new formulas and better machines, we need fewer of them – and therefore less energy for cooling, reheating, and cleaning. Another lever is the water vapor, which is used to expel the solvent from the rubber crumbs: Clever routing of the steam and the special design of the “strippers” reduce consumption. Even the energy of the residual water vapor which eventually rises from the tanks with rubber slurry, is utilized by the modern ARLANXEO systems.
When purchasing and delivering raw materials, care is taken to keep transport distances as short as possible. Many raw materials are delivered in an environmentally friendly way via pipelines from nearby refineries.
We also consider sustainability in packaging our products: for example, our rubbers for the tire industry are usually transported to the customer in reusable, folding steel containers. We avoid disposable packaging as best we can, because less packaging material is better for the environment.