INITIATIVE | 014 At Shaw, we're innovating through gasification processes that reduce waste and produce clean energy. We're working towards becoming the most energy efficient carpet manufacturer in the world.
Shaw has teamed up with Siemens Technologies to create the first gasification, Waste to Energy facility in the carpet industry. The state-of-the-art process is fueled with carpet waste and laminate wood flour. This technology replaces traditional fossil fuel boiler technology used to produce steam for our carpet dyeing operations at one of our plants in Dalton, Georgia, and results in much cleaner emissions.
Here's how it works: Post-industrial (pre-consumer) carpet and wood waste is ground in preparation for delivery to the gasification unit. Gasification heats the fuel in a low oxygen atmosphere to liberate synthetic gas that is diverted to a combustion chamber. The hot synthetic gases are exposed to fresh air in the combustion chamber and an immediate flashover results in a 1000 degree temperature jump. The boiler water absorbs heat from the surrounding superheated air. Unlike a traditional boiler, the WTE boiler vessel is never in contact with an open flame source. This greatly increases boiler life and lowers maintenance cost.
Our investment in this technology is another means of reducing the amount of carpet that ends up in landfills. Shaw's Waste to Energy facility is currently diverting approximately 16,000 tons of carpet waste and 6,000 tons of wood waste from landfills each year. In addition, we're reducing oil usage at the plant by 90%. That's a Green Edge solution with great results.