BASF: Innovations in Process: Alternative Fuels and Reduced Emissions 

BASF’s McIntosh, Alabama facility manufactures Antioxidants and Light Stabilizers that extend the useful life of everyday consumer products. Steam generation and waste disposal are two indispensable components of production at the site. The site employees and leadership took the initiative to find ways to turn waste into fuel, reducing the amount of waste sent off-site for disposal and reducing the use of Fossil Fuels at the site.

At BASF, employee-driven innovation is part of the everyday work culture. “We call it continuous improvement,” said Maurice Ware, manager of energy and environmental operations at BASF McIntosh. “Employees want to find ways to improve operations and reduce our environmental footprint.”

Boiler #7 exemplifies that innovation. In 2018, the site reduced natural gas consumption, emissions, and offsite waste disposal with the installation and start-up of the new Boiler #7. The new boiler generates steam using hazardous waste material that would otherwise be disposed of offsite as alternative fuel. 

“Our target is to divert 5 million pounds of waste,” said Ware. In addition to the environmental impact of keeping that material out of disposal sites, the project allowed McIntosh to reduce natural gas consumption, replacing 26,683 MMBTUs of its energy in 2018 with alternative fuel generated on-site.  This is equivalent to over 200,000 gallons of gasoline. 

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Additionally, the boiler is equipped with a state-of-the-art emission control system that helps ensure regulatory compliance. This project allowed the site to meet its growing demand for steam while simultaneously reducing emissions. The largest emission reductions were in both CO and NOx while increasing steam production by 19%.    

“A lot of teamwork was involved to make this project a success,” said Ware. The project involved specialists across the entire site, multiple contractors, and several different engineering firms. “We also held public meetings and worked with Alabama Department of Environmental Management,” added Ware.

BASF McIntosh is committed to achieving Best in Class EHS Excellence by using alternative fuel sources that harness natural processes without harming the environment or depleting environmental resources to create energy. The substitution of conventional fuel with an alternative fuel can make an essential contribution to sustainable development through the reduction of the global burden of greenhouse gases.


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