A cleaner production demonstration study was developed in 1998 for the chemical industry by the Mexican Center for Cleaner Production with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The project's objective was to develop cleaner production assessments for chemical plants by identifying and evaluating process and energy cleaner production opportunities for technical feasibility, economic benefit and environmental impact. Four plants in the chemical industry groups of inorganic and organic chemicals and plastic materials and synthetic resins were involved.
The main results are: (1) a reduction of solid toxic residues in the organic chemicals plant of 3,474 kg/year with after-tax savings of US$ 318,304/year; (2) an increase in plant capacity of 56%, and 10% reduction in VOCs emissions in the plasticizers and epoxidated soybean oil plant with after-tax savings of US$ 2,356,000/year; (3) a reduction of 31,150 kg/year of ethylene oxide emissions with after-tax savings of US$ 17,750/year in the polyethylene glycol plant and (4) a reduction of CO2 emissions of 9.21% with after-tax savings of US$ 44,281/year in the inorganic chemicals plant.
The principal areas for improvement in the chemical industry are process control and instrumentation, process design, maintenance programs and providing adequate utilities for the plants.