Analysis of the environmental impact using the waste reduction algorithm in polypropylene production by applying grade transitions strategies in Colombia.


Carlos Ariel Cardona-Alzate


Instituto de Biotecnología y Agroindustria, Departamento de Ingeniería Química, Universidad Nacional de Colombia sede Manizales, Manizales, Colombia. [Email]


The global manufacturing sector faces a significant challenge about minimizing environmental impacts without witnessing the adverse effects on the market competitiveness. A cleaner production methodology must involve different approaches for minimizing or recycling waste streams, obtaining at the same time economical and environmental advantages for manufacturing companies (Severo et al., J Clean Prod 142:87-97, 2017). In the polypropylene production process, more than 60 grades of polypropylene are produced. To achieve this target, changes in the process variables are carried out, due to the continuous operation process. Those changes generate a mixture of resins with intermediate properties (transition), which must be minimized. Moreover, failures during the transitions process generate a large extra amount of material that represents a significant impact on the environment, when it is considered as waste. In this paper, an environmental analysis was made by applying a waste reduction algorithm (WAR) to establish the potential impact of a polypropylene production process over the environment, applying grade transitions strategies and then to demonstrate how the improvement of transition times implies a significant reduction of plastic waste. It was found that the reduction of transitions time minimizes the environmental impact based on real industry data. Last should be considered for the real polymer plant analyzed and future projects.


Aspen Plus,Environmental impact,Grade transition,Polymerization process,Polypropylene,Waste reduction algorithm,