Reductions of volatile organic compound (VOC) and greenhouse gas emissions go hand in hand with ultraviolet (UV) and electron beam (EB) technologies, according to a position paper just released by RadTech-The Association for UV and EB Technology. UV and EB technologies are widely used across the spectrum of U.S. manufacturing industries, including automotive, aerospace, electronics, medical devices, wood and building products, and printing and packaging. "While the technology helps manufacturers become more competitive, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and local air quality Districts recognize UV and EB as environmentally proactive," says David Harbourne, RadTech president and president of Fusion UV Systems Inc. Most UV and EB adhesives, coatings and inks contain little or no volatile solvents. Solvent emission (VOCs) may become tropospheric (ground-level) ozone precursors, estimated by the EPA as the third-largest contributor to climate change. Moreover, attempts to eliminate VOCs by incineration may generate greenhouse gases from combustion. The emission or attempt to eliminate VOCs is nearly eliminated with the use of UV/EB technology. In one study by a major U.S. manufacturer, UV offered an over 65% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The study also found an 80% reduction in the total amount of energy used by the facility's process, compared to a conventional system. As a result of these energy efficiency advances, the study notes that the savings offered by UV/EB technology translated into not only big energy savings, but also as much as a 55% reduction in capital and installation costs.

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