Technology Merit: Waste Management & Pollution Control


EQ - The Environmental Quality Company (Wayne, MI), for its development of a recycling program to manage spent N-Methyl-2-Pyrrolidone (NMP), a non-hazardous solvent used in lithium-ion battery manufacturing. In the production of batteries for electric and hybrid automobile equipment manufacturers, battery manufacturers will generate approximately one million gallons of spent electronic-grade NMP annually. EQ markets and redistributes recycled NMP once the solvent is reclaimed. NMP is used to dissolve and transport nickel, magnesium, and cobalt (NMC) powder. Once the NMC powder has been released onto the electrode plates, the material is cooled, condensed, and collected as a waste by-product. Utilizing EQ's more than 20 years of experience in the distillation and recycling of solvents, EQ receives the by-product NMP in bulk from the manufacturers and distills it into an industrial-grade NMP. Key benefits of EQ's process include the lower temperature it is able to achieve using vacuum distillation.

Soil-Therm Equipment, Inc. (Agoura Hills, CA), for its development of the Mobile DEGASSER, a technology for capturing and destroying volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during the transfer of fuels and liquids from production operations at refinery locations to delivery vehicles. Soil-Therm describes the Mobile DEGASSER as safer than the conventional method, which involves the use of internal combustion engines, for destroying the toxic hydrogen sulfide gases present in many of these liquid products. The technology uses Soil-Therm's patented Jet-THERM combustion process, which affords VOC destruction of greater than 99.9% at a processing rate of 100 pounds per hour. A control touch screen operator panel allows remote monitoring of the VOC destruction process. Soil-Therm designed, manufactured, and demonstrated the Mobile DEGASSER system at the Alon Refinery in Big Spring, Texas.