DuPont Titanium Technologies reports $100 million in energy savings

In the backdrop of oil prices having reached $103 per barrel, DuPont Titanium Technologies today reported that its sites have cut their energy consumption per pound of product by nearly 30 per cent, saving more than $100 million in the process. 

The business estimates that it has saved the equivalent of three million barrels of oil since 2001.

"There's no one great 'eureka' moment in this kind of effort," said Rick Olson, vice president and general manager, DuPont Titanium Technologies.  "Every one of our sites around the world is tracking down every possible opportunity to save energy.  It all adds up, one motor and one valve at a time, day after day.  This work is never finished."

Some fixes are fairly obvious, such as replacing ageing electric motors with newer, more efficient models.  Others require more study and sophistication.

For example, plant control rooms have been upgraded with new hardware and software to provide operators with more detailed, real-time information so that they can fine-tune operations.  Plants also have implemented technology for energy recovery and reuse, such as salvaging heat energy from steam.

DuPont also saves energy by inventing new pigment products that require less energy to manufacture.  A new grade of TiO2 for use in coatings is one such product introduced in 2007.  It replaced a more energy intensive grade.

"By 2015, we expect to be able to make twice as much TiO2 per unit of energy as we did in 1991," Rick said.  "Saving energy, and consequently reducing emissions, is good for our world and good for our business.  This kind of disciplined effort is part of our sustainability plan for our existing plants and it is being designed into our new site in China."

DuPont Titanium Technologies is the world's largest manufacturer of titanium dioxide (TiO2), a white pigment widely used in the coatings, plastics and paper industries to make products white, bright and opaque.