JAKE PRICE

OASE Intern at Boeing Portland

Major: Environmental Engineering

University: Oregon State University

AT A GLANCE

Industry: commercial airline manufacturing

Project Type: hazardous waste reduction

Year: 2018

Location: Portland, OR

 

 

 

PROJECT SUMMARY

Jake Price interned with Boeing to assess their process for manufacturing airplane parts and identify improvements to reduce hazardous and solid waste. For their efforts, the North American Hazardous Materials Management Association recognized Jake and Boeing with an award in 2020.

Questions about this project? Contact Lisa Cox

BACKGROUND

  

Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems. Boeing Portland is a manufacturing plant that provides flight-critical parts to commercial airplanes. The company has aggressive environmental targets to reach in 2018-2025 that include reductions in hazardous and solid waste. Working with OASE, Boeing identified three potential areas of waste reduction:

  1. Sealant waste: Boeing was using a sealant containing chromium, a hazardous chemical, to protect its plane components from water intrusion, which can cause corrosion. The 777x plane program identified a new non-hazardous sealant for assembly, which, if separated from the hazardous waste stream, could be disposed of as regular waste.
     
  2. Plating waste: Boeing uses a process to deposit metal on another material (chemical plating) to create plane components. Waste produced from this process was collected in tanks and was considered hazardous due to its high alkalinity (capacity of water to resist changes in pH).
     
  3. Sandblast waste: Boeing uses sandblasting (method to etch or clean material using a high-velocity air blast carrying sand particles) in its production of plane parts, and the company wanted to find a way to recycle the sandblast waste instead of sending it to the landfill.

SOLUTIONS

  1. Sealant waste: Price calculated the amount of hazardous waste reduction possible through separating the non-hazardous sealant waste from the hazardous waste stream and worked with Boeing staff to create a new waste separation system.
     
  2. Plating waste: The intern investigated the viability of neutralizing the high alkaline waste in the collection tank, and rendering it non-hazardous. He determined which and how much acid needed to be used to achieve neutralization.
     
  3. Sandblast waste: Price identified and worked with a company who recycles sandblast material in Portland to prevent this solid waste from going to the landfill.

POTENTIAL IMPACTS

For their efforts in waste reduction, the North American Hazardous Materials Management Association recognized Jake and Boeing with an award in 2020.

  1. Sealant waste: Through the collection of waste data for each individual 777x part that is assembled at Boeing Portland, it was found that diverting the non-hazardous sealant waste will result in an 87.7% reduction in the hazardous waste stream and a 1.45 ton annual reduction in hazardous waste for the 777x program. 
     
  2. Plating waste: It was found that in-tank neutralization of chemical plating, high alkaline waste with sulfuric acid is potentially viable and, if implemented, would result in a 10.2 ton annual hazardous waste reduction.
     
  3. Sandblast waste: Price calculated that if Boeing were to recycle its sandblast dust, it would result in an 84 ton reduction of solid waste to the landfill every year.

The recommended projects have the potential to annually reduce:

  

11.65

tons of hazardous waste

  

84

tons of solid waste