Our fiber forming processes characteristically use a considerable amount of water. We recognize that scarcity of water is a growing threat in certain geographical areas. Therefore, we see proper stewardship of this valuable resource as a key operating goal. Significant water savings have been achieved at the plants by identifying and eliminating losses, and by recycling process water back into the plant, thus eliminating the need for fresh water.
Water used in plant production is reported monthly as a KPI (m3/ton). Plants work to identify usage reductions while maintaining product characteristics and purity in product requirements. Total water intake decreased slightly in 2015 compared to 2014. Water use per ton also decreased as startup operations obtained steady production and market tonnage. All plants operated in compliance with their discharge permit range.
Water balance in 2015
Total suspended solids = solids which are suspended in the water and would be caught by a filter. Suspended solids are measured by passing sample water through a filter. The solids caught by the filter, once dried, are the suspended solids.
COD = chemical oxygen demand, is the standard method for indirect measurement of the amount of pollution (that cannot be oxidized biologically) in a sample of water.
The chemical oxygen demand test procedure is based on the chemical decomposition of organic and inorganic contaminants, dissolved or suspended in water. The result of a chemical oxygen demand test indicates the amount of water-dissolved oxygen (expressed as parts per million or milligrams per liter of water) consumed by the contaminants, during two hours of decomposition from a solution of boiling potassium dichromate. The higher the chemical oxygen demand, the higher the amount of pollution in the test sample. For the contaminants that can be oxidized biologically, the biological oxygen demand (BOD) method is used.
Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are excess nutrients that can stimulate growth of plants and algae. In other words, these nutrients continue to serve as fertilizers once they reach the water. Increased nutrient delivery and the consequent proliferation of plants and algae in aquatic systems is a process known as eutrophication.