Our plant in Clearing, Illinois, is Ecolab’s largest producer of colloidal silica, a material that touches everything from nanotechnology and LED lights to smartphone screens and metals. But colloidal silica manufacturing is water-intensive. The Clearing plant consumes a quarter of all water used in Ecolab’s manufacturing facilities, more than any other.
One of the ways that we are reducing water use at Clearing is by reusing process water. As a result, we have been able to expand colloidal silica manufacturing while using less water per ton. In addition, Clearing installed a water reclamation system that takes wastewater from the colloidal process and treats it for reuse. When at full capacity, it is expected to reduce the plant's water use by up to 20 percent.
The Clearing facility proves that older plants can be just as water-smart as new ones. Customers will be able to learn about these technologies when the Clearing Customer Experience Center opens in 2019.