Manufacturing

Develop bio-based formaldehyde-free binder

In 2008, Knauf Insulation launched perhaps the nation’s largest formaldehyde-free green chemistry initiative called ECOSE Technology. Offering this into the building materials marketplace quickly transformed the entire glass mineral fiber industry toward bio-based chemistries. Today phenol-formaldehyde (PF) based resins are largely a thing of the past with regard to large volume mineral fiber based insulation products. Knauf has also launched a new business venture to assist other industries in accessing ECOSE Technology for their processes.

In a given year, using corn-based ECOSE Technology instead of phenol & formaldehyde avoids the equivalent of more than 100,000 barrels of oil in North America alone.

Lead green chemistry efforts

Following the launch of our ECOSE Technology in 2009, we had transformed all of our products and processes to this new technology. Using our bio-based ECOSE Technology has removed phenol and formaldehyde from our stack emissions. By 2012, the entire industry had followed our lead. This initiative not only established Knauf Insulation in a leadership position, but it had a transformative impact on our industry in general.

Green manufacturing Processes

Knauf Insulation uses regenerative thermal oxidizers (RTO) to capture and recycle much of the energy we used to cure our products. RTO is equipment used for the treatment of exhaust air. Our ovens exhaust into a ceramic heat exchange media to capture and reuse the heat in the exhausted air. Therefore, the amount of energy required to cure our product is reduced substantially.

Everything we do starts with recycling. Our plant uses as much as 80% recycled content. While our only option is to landfill our products at end of life, that doesn’t stop us from encouraging consumers to recycle other products, particularly glass bottles.

Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement is key to our sustainable development. Globally, our company maintains the following Bureau Veritas certifications: ISO 9000, 14000, and 50001. These certifications relate to quality management systems, energy management and environmental management efforts. For more information on our current continuous improvement efforts, please review the Knauf Insulation global sustainability report.