Over the years, OUCC has been the pioneer in Taiwan’s petrochemical industry on product diversification transformation, investment into green energy industry, and innovation of products and technology. It is believed that the focus on green chemistry will promote new development of the petrochemical industry, as well as help solve sustainable issues such as economy, resources, and the environment.
Facing Industry 4.0, Artificial Intelligence, IoT, 5G, and big data, OUCC pursues the concept of smart manufacturing, using technology to optimize and enhance the productivity of traditional industries. OUCC shall maintain innovative and forward-looking attitude, continuing the research in green chemistry and connect to international intelligent manufacturing, using environmental protection and technology to realize the vision of sustainable development of the chemical industry. OUCC has adopted a “stable, safe and environmentally friendly” approach to product development. Applying the concept of the life cycle, the possible effects of the product on health, safety and the environment have been taken into account, aiming to reduce all risks. The green chemical strategies are set to help with the sustainable development of the industry.
OUCC continues to strengthen green production and highvalue arrangements. Besides proactively developing various high-value EOD products and maintaining the balance between chemical production development and environmental protection, we also continue to improve production procedures and invest in equipment, promote the innovation of circular economy and re-manufacture the recycled waste, with the thinking of green circular production, to therefore decrease the impact of production on the environment.
New Business Model: The Circular Economy
OUCC realizes the urgency and severity of the lack of natural resources, and believes that “circular economy” will be one of the keys to supporting the next generation of economic development. Through technological innovation, we expect to implement the core concept of circular economy, “minimizing environmental impacts, maximizing value of resources”, in the production procedures to reduce the waste of resources, and to increase the proportion of reusable materials in order to reduce the impact on the industry.
To build circular economy model, we develop a sustainable cycle of ”resources-products-renewable resources”, let resources return from the cradle to the cradle, allowing the material to circulate continuously. OUCC has invested NT$19.2 million in the development of innovative “potassium iodide (KI) recovery technology”, from basic design, equipment procurement and production, civil construction, equipment installation to testing. In the ethylene carbonate (EC) plant, the procress of increasing the concentration of potassium iodide from the potassium iodide waste liquid, and reuse it in the production process of other products not only reduces the cost of waste treatment, but the byproduct produced during the production process also brings in revenue to the company.
We utilized innovative thinking and technology, and converted the “waste” of potassium iodide waste liquid into “useable renewable resources”. The traditional linear economy strategy changed into a circular economy model, which created additional economic value, making strides towards implementing circular economy in the industry.
Innovative Process, Circular Sustainability
The development and design of the “distillation/hydration equipment” allows potassium iodide (KI) waste solution produced by the ethylene carbonate (EC) plant to be concentrated to upgrade the originally paid “external waste” into reusable resource products, which can then be utilized in new production processes.
- At the beginning of 2018, OUCC started to recruit manpower from departments such as R&D, engineering design and production, to be devoted to the development of the resource-based process for concentrating potassium iodide (KI).
- After the trial had been completed in October 2018, the potassium iodide (KI) waste solution was successfully concentrated to 15% potassium iodide (KI) for recycling with the simultaneous production of a by-product, monoethylene glycol (MEG).
Performance of 2020：
1. Economic benefits: totaling NT$31.1 million.
(1) In 2020, OUCC produced about 1,011 metric tons of potassium iodide (KI) waste liquid, and reduced external disposal fee totaling NT$20.22 million.
(2) OUCC produced approx. 93 tons of concentrated EC85 (KI-15), saving the potassium iodide (KI) procurement cost of NT$7.46 million.
(3) OUCC produced approx. 186 tons of byproduct monoethylene glycol (MEG), with the recycle and reuse benefit of NT$3.42 million.
2. Environmental benefits
(1) In 2020, a total of 1,011 tons of waste liquid transportation was reduced, a decrease of 93,601kg-CO₂e.
(2) The mitigative impact on the environment resulted from waste liquid leakage and incineration.
3. Social benefits
(1) The income generated from the reuse of the byproduct was in turn used to upgrade occupational health, safety and welfare of employees.
(2) The decrease of the leakage risk from the waste liquid transportation secures the safety of community personnel and the public (e.g. causing skin rashes).