Saint-Gobain Increases Recycled Content of Wallboard Products

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Saint-Gobain, through its building products subsidiary CertainTeed LLC, will install recycling technology at its gypsum plant in Palatka, Florida, increasing the recycled content in its wallboard products manufactured there by 18,000 tons/year while also reducing the site’s carbon dioxide emissions by 2,260 tons/year.

The project is a $1.1 million investment from CertainTeed and comes as Saint-Gobain continues to roll out its new global Grow and Impact strategy, which includes reducing waste and increasing recycling efforts at its manufacturing sites.

Gypsum wallboard is made from a gypsum slurry that is poured and dries between two sheets of paper. Some scrap materials, consisting of gypsum and paper, are normally created every time a production line is started up or shut down, or when production equipment is changed to manufacture different sizes of wallboard.

The new recycling technology in Palatka will work by grinding the waste gypsum and waste paper down into fine particles, allowing the plant to capture and internally recycle the materials, which are sorted and then reintroduced to the production process at the plant.

The new equipment is powered by electricity and replaces older equipment currently powered by diesel, lowering the plant’s Scope 1 Emissions from its operations. Additionally, by consuming more recycled gypsum, the plant is less reliant on feedstock that is shipped to Palatka from external sources, allowing the site to also reduce Scope 3 Emissions associated with transporting the feedstock.

Other projects the company has invested in recently include its investment of $72 million to upgrade equipment at its Montreal wallboard manufacturing facility and reduce its carbon emissions by up to 44,000 metric tons/year, and the instalment of heat recovery technology at its gypsum wallboard plant in Vancouver, which the company says will improve the facility’s energy efficiency and reduce its carbon emissions by 10%.

Saint Gobain also most recently achieved carbon-neutral production of flat glass. This technological effort was achieved by using 100% recycled glass (cullet) and 100% green energy, produced from biogas and decarbonized electricity. It was implemented for one week in Saint-Gobain’s flat glass manufacturing plant in Aniche, northern France, the company says.

Source: Environmental Leader

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