The production process of ICL, a raw material used in DuPont’s heat and flame-resistant technology, Nomex®, yields a low concentration hydrochloric acid, a byproduct that up to now wasn’t considered marketable. Our manufacturing site partnered with Gonvarri Steel Services to create a beneficial use for this byproduct—as an input for the production of steel—innovations that will significantly reduce annual water use, electricity consumption, and the need for ground transportation associated with Nomex production.
In 2019, we sent Gonvarri Steel Services and a few other clients 13,731 tons of hydrochloric acid, allowing us to avoid the production of about 5,570 tons of 50% sodium hydroxide solution, a waste product that requires its own specialized transportation. We also saved about 4,982 m3 of water, 19,314 MW of energy, and 3,900 tons of steam. These partnerships also saved about 174,000 L of diesel fuel by avoiding the need to transport the hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide solution for disposal.
Over the lifetime of the partnership, we will be able to annually reduce water consumption equivalent to that used by 350 people and electricity consumption equivalent to the energy consumed by 1,500 homes, in addition to eliminating 500,000 km per year in road transport.
The 50 top leaders at DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences have identified seven central goals and two focus areas within the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In autumn, the company will host a workshop presenting tools for others with the same ambitions.
Expectant mothers can wake up to a wellness report of their unborn child and be notified if fetal heartbeat and movement are within acceptable ranges with the new Owlet Band, winner of two CES awards in the categories of Wearable Technology and Tech to Change the World. Specialized sensors housed in a fabric band that sits around the mother's abdomen track fetal heart rate and kick count, sending real-time data to a smartphone.
The agreement, supported by an initial investment of more than one million euros mainly made by DuPont, exemplifies the concept of circular economy and will lead to significant reductions in energy, water and transport consumption for both companies.