Assessment of the Environmental Impact and Economic Benefits of the Adoption of Cleaner Production in a Brazilian Metal Finishing Industry

//Assessment of the Environmental Impact and Economic Benefits of the Adoption of Cleaner Production in a Brazilian Metal Finishing Industry

The Metal Finishing Industry (MFI) uses water and several chemicals in its production chain, which generates both liquid and solid hazardous waste. The present study evaluates the economic and environmental advantages of implementing cleaner production (CP) in a Brazilian MFI specialised in chrome and zinc. For the economic assessment, the authors adopted the measures of return on investment and internal rate of return. In order to measure the environmental impact, the Mass Intensity Factor was used. A case study methodology was adopted, with data collected through observation and semi-structured interviews. The findings indicate that the adoption of CPin this sector encourages the deployment of a Rising Cascades System in Counterflow (RCSC) to minimise water consumption through the reuse and segregation of hazardous solid waste (sludge). The sludge generated may be sold as a by-product for the production of ceramics. The authors identified opportunities to reduce costs by minimising waste, although this does require investment. However, the return on such investments may enable the implementation of CP. The reduction in environmental impact on the ecosystem was significant, with large reductions in hazardous components contained in the sludge being dumped in the environment. The results may guide the development of public policies in Brazil, particularly in the adoption of CP in MFI to disseminate environmental education and increase governmental control.

Authors: de Oliveira Neto GC, Curvelo Santana JC, Filho MG, Chiappetta Jabbour CJ. ; Full Source: Environmental Technology. 2018 Nov 22:1-32. doi: 10.1080/09593330.2018.1551426. [Epub ahead of print]