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Fujifilm Taps Methane From Landfill For S.C. Plant Needs

6/25/2009 02:29:00 PM Eastern

Valhalla, N.Y. — Fujifilm Thursday said it has started tapping methane gas generated in a landfill to power approximately 40 percent of its primary U.S. manufacturing complex in Greenwood, S.C.

By substituting methane for natural gas, Fujifilm said it is reducing the release of toxic emissions into the atmosphere.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said that methane is 21 times stronger in trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

Fujifilm said it made the change in an effort toward meeting a stated goal of reducing its U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2012.

Globally, Fujifilm is working at reducing carbon-dioxide emissions 40 percent from its 1990 numbers by 2012. According to a company statement, it is pursuing new energy fuels that will prevent global warming as part of its task.

In related moves, Fujifilm is developing a wind farm in Tilburg, The Netherlands, to supply a portion of the electricity used at its photo paper and offset printing plates manufacturing plant.

“The completion of this project is a major accomplishment and a step in the right direction for the environment,” stated Shin Kataoka, Fujifilm Manufacturing U.S.A. president. “The landfill gas to energy project goes a long way toward meeting our global target for reducing the amount of greenhouse gasses being released into the atmosphere.”

The use of methane also helps Greenwood County, N.C., meet its obligation to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce methane release from the local landfill.

“We are extremely happy this project worked out,” said Robbie Templeton, Greenwood County Council chairman. “The county was facing a deadline imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce or eliminate methane emissions from the landfill. In the absence of a partner like Fujifilm, the county’s other option was to flare, or burn off, the gas at the landfill. Once again Fujifilm proves itself to be one of our best corporate citizens.”

Fujifilm will use the noxious gas in two of its specially equipped boilers with a dual-burner system that can be switched back and forth between landfill source methane and natural gas purchased from the Commission of Public Works. Fujifilm plans to use at least 197 billion Btu of energy from the landfill per year.

According to the EPA (using national averages), this amount of energy would provide annual heating for over 5,000 homes.

The amount of CO2 emissions destroyed and avoided would be equal to the emissions from over 17,000 vehicles each year.

In other green efforts, Fujifilm said it has started designing eco-friendly products by reducing packaging materials, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Fujifilm said it is the leading manufacturer of UV cured, VOC-free and solvent-free ink jet inks.

In addition, the company’s films used in flat-panel displays are manufactured with plant-derived cellulose, rather than petroleum-based material, and carry the Biomass Mark of the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.