Because of the large quantities of materials and energy used by the chemical industry, significant opportunities are available for waste reduction. Waste reduction techniques include improvements in process selectivity and/or conversion, the ability to operate at lower temperatures and/or pressures, processes requiring fewer steps, feedstocks with fewer inherent byproducts, more efficient equipment design, products and/or catalysts with longer lives, more efficient unit operations, innovative process integration, avoidance of heat degradation of reaction products, new uses for otherwise valueless by-products, and elimination of leaks and fugitive emissions. The implementation of waste minimization alternatives in the chemical industry were categorized in terms of near- (0-5 years implementation), mid- (5-10 years), and long-term impacts (10+ years).

*The viewpoints expressed here are not necessarily those of the Laboratory or its sponsors.

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