Tokyo, March 9
Japan's Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd. will complete construction in April of a PET bottle factory that is designed as a showcase for environmental manufacturing, including a 30 per cent reduction in energy consumption by reusing compressed air.
PET bottles are made by molding a preform, which is then blown into final shape using compressed air. The air is compressed in two stages, first to 8kg per sq. centimeter and then to 30-40kg. The compressed air is normally vented to the atmosphere after bottles have been formed, but special pipes have been added to circulate the it back to the second compressor in the new plant, which a subsidiary of Suntory Beverage will operate in Yamanashi Prefecture to bottle mineral water.
Compared with normal air, the circulated air remains compressed to around 8kg, so reusing it reduces the work required of the second air compressor. According to Suntory, the electric power expended in bottle production is cut by around 30 per cent this way. Also, carbon emissions are trimmed by around 10 per cent.
The new factory will also make optimal reuse of water to reduce overall consumption by more than 50 per cent in the production process. In addition, waste heat will be recycled for climate control purposes, helping to slash carbon emissions even further.
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March 9, 2010 Tuesday 1:56 PM EST
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