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Energy efficient and environmentally friendly colour paste production – it’s all in the mix!


At ISL, manufacturers of colour pastes and lacquers for the polyurethane industry for over 40 years, a variety of methods ensures an energy efficient and environmentally friendly production process.

In order to achieve not only the highest possible quality standards for its products, but also to minimise the impact on the environment, the company employs a mix of different measures during the production process. “We actively assume responsibility for people and the environment. With our environmental policy we have committed to reducing waste, optimising the use of resources and also to reducing the use of hazardous substances”, says Dr Stefan Vollmuth, managing director at ISL.

The centrepiece for improving efficiency in the use of resources is the ONI cooling unit with a state-of-the-art heat exchange system, installed in 2010. The power controlled cooling system consumes considerably less energy than its predecessor. The waste heat from the cooling system is recovered and utilised for heating the production hall. In spite of the recent cold winter, this has resulted in heating gas savings of 20%. Additional devices, such as an air compressor with a rotation speed-dependent control for safety devices on the triple rollers, also help to reduce the company’s power consumption.

The company is moreover consistently replacing outdated machinery. During the last year two new triple rollers were installed, which are working up to 60% more efficiently compared to the older models. Improved energy efficiency has resulted in reduced power consumption in the colour paste production process. A lab machine is used for efficiently developing new products. Preliminary trials on a small scale or product adjustments are carried out in the lab. This ensures that the results can be adopted for the production process without having to carry out energy-intensive production trials.

For the product portfolio the main emphasis is on replacing critical materials. The company has not used any toxic substances in the production of colour pastes or in-mould lacquers for several years. When creating new formulations, only substances that have either a very low hazard potential or none at all are considered by the developing labs. By monitoring the markets pro-actively, substances that might be considered problematic in the future are also replaced by alternatives. Out of 4,300 tonnes production volume in 2011 just under one third was classified as hazardous material; a very low value for a chemical company.   

Renewable resources are becoming increasingly important for the company and its target markets. Castor oil, for example, is being used as binder for a newly developed range of polyurethane colour pastes. Newly developed lacquers are without exception water- rather than solvent-based. VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions have been reduced continuously since 2005 at ISL, which also benefits customers. All emission guidelines (e.g. 31st BIMSchV – German Solvent Ordinance) have been strictly complied with since then.

The company has been DIN EN ISO 14001 (environmental standards) certified since 2007. A repeat audit carried out at the end of April of this year confirmed that the measures implemented by the company have been successful.



Mirjam Saeger

Marketing/Product Management
Phone: +49 2207 96 91 124
Fax: +49 2207 96 91 29

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