How Green Is Your Cleanroom?

July 29, 2010 – 8:38 am

They may be called cleanrooms, but they sure can leave a dirty carbon footprint. Dycem, a maker of high-performance contamination control zones for medtech manufacturing and other critical applications, says it is doing something about that.

Dycem has pledged to reduce energy usage and shrink its carbon footprint whilst eliminating waste. How? By marketing reusable contamination-control surfaces with a three- to five-year life expectancy, says the company in a press release. The smooth surface of the polymer flooring can be cleaned with a damp mop and dried using a squeegee, leaving it immediately ready for further use without any loss of performance in the capacity to trap contaminants. This type of flooring is a green alternative to peel-off mats that are also used in cleanrooms, says Dycem.

Adhesive-coated polyethylene-based peel-off mats are ripped up when dirty and then disposed of as consumer waste. The use of Dycem flooring over a two-year period is compared with peel-off mats in a paper written by Gerry Prout of Kennet Bioservices. According to Prout, Dycem flooring uses 18 tonnes fewer raw materials, saves more than 3 million millijoules of energy in manufacture and use, and reduces the overall emission of greenhouse gases by more than 120 tonnes.

“It is vital for manufacturers of disposable products to pay attention to the environment,” says Dycem Managing Director Mark Dalziel. “At Dycem, our design team has this in their briefs for new and improved solutions for our users.” At the end of their working life, Dycem flooring and mats are 85% recyclable and do not contribute to landfill waste, he stresses.

Looking for more ways to reduce your cleanroom’s carbon footprint? A technical article titled “Cleanroom Versus Green Room” published in EMDT offers four clear strategies for minimising the environmental consequences of operating a cleanroom without compromising its cleanliness.

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