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:
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.
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).
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.