On Wednesday, April 24, political officials, community members and employees of Pittsburgh-based Calgon Carbon Corp. gathered together to celebrate the dedication of a state-of-the-art activated carbon custom reactivation facility in Gila Bend, Ariz. At the new plant, owner-operator Calgon Carbon will be reactivating (recycling) carbon used by water treatment facilities to purify drinking water distributed to surrounding communities, including Phoenix.
Gila Bend Mayor Ron Henry, Arizona Commerce Authority Keith Watkins and John Krueger from the Greater Phoenix Economic Council joined Calgon Carbon in dedicating the new facility, which is estimated to bring 25 high-quality jobs to the state of Arizona, with a potential to increase to 62 American jobs over a three-year period.
Carbon reactivation is, by its very nature, a form of recycling. During the reactivation process, organic compounds that have been captured by granular activated carbon (GAC) are destroyed by being subjected to high temperatures that, at the same time, restore the carbon to a usable state. While this reactivation process reduces the cost of using GAC by approximately 40%, it also reduces the carbon footprint associated with the utilization of GAC by as much as 80%. A localized reactivation facility like Gila Bend’s allows the same carbon to be reused efficiently, saving time, money and transportation.
The Gila Bend facility is also environmentally sustainable from top to bottom. The plant introduces Calgon Carbon’s waste heat initiative, an eco-friendly method that captures and reuses waste heat to reactivate carbon. The innovative process positions Calgon Carbon as a pioneer in the industry, making it the first of its kind in a domestic plant. The initiative is one part of the facility’s emphasis on environmental responsibility and energy savings. To further expand on the facility’s eco-friendly design, the lights are all LEDs, and variable-speed, high-efficiency motors are used throughout the plant to power process equipment.