cleantech insights

Rockwool nears construction on Indian insulation factory

Emma Ritch

Denmark-based insulation maker Rockwool International (Copenhagen:ROCK-B) expects its Indian factory to begin shipping insulation for the process industry by the end of 2010.

Thomas Nordli, senior consultant for group communications at Rockwool, told the Cleantech Group that construction is expected to start within the next few months in Dahej, India.

However, a factory planned for Russia is still on the books with no specific timeline thanks to the financial crisis, which halted the country’s booming demand, Nordli said.

The slowdown was reflected in the Danish firm’s newly released third-quarter results, which showed a 21 percent decline in sales through the third quarter of this year thanks to the stagnation in the new construction market. Rockwool recorded nearly DKK 8 billion ($1.6 billion) in sales in the first nine months of 2009.

But investors saw a silver lining today after the 3Q09 report, sending the firm’s shares up 2.15 percent to close at DKK 522 today on the NasdaqOMX Nordic Exchange Copenhagen.

The reason for the optimism could be that the recession has spurred growth in some business sectors for the €1.8 billion-per-year company, Nordli said.

Rockwool manufactures and sells stone wool insulation, which is made by melting volcanic …


Genan to break ground on first US tire recycling plant

Emma Ritch

Danish tire recycler Genan expects to break ground before the end of the year on a scrap tire processing plant in Houston, Texas—the first U.S. plant for the self-proclaimed world’s largest tire recycler.

Director of Business Development Lars Raahauge told the Cleantech Group that Genan is waiting on permits for the plant with the capacity to process 65,000 metric tons of scrap tires each year.

The process has several outputs that can be sold. Each tire is deconstructed into 67 percent rubber granulate or powder, 18 percent steel, 14 percent textiles and 1 percent waste. The textiles are burned to produce energy.

Recycling prevents the harmful environmental effects from improper disposal while displacing the need for virgin rubber, Raahauge said. Recycled rubber can be made into artificial turf, athletic fields, thermal and acoustic insulation, roads, and playgrounds (see Saving the planet, one tire at a time?).

“It’s a very dull and simple thing, but very important,” Raahauge told the Cleantech Group.

Raahauge noted that tires are made from the best rubber, steel and textiles because manufacturers can’t risk compromising safety. The products are very valuable for resale, and the economic case is made better by government regulations that pay …

Dairy plants to disinfect water with UV systems

Emma Ritch

Har Tuv, Israel-based Atlantium Technologies is seeing an uptick in interest for its proprietary technology that serves as a substitute for the energy-intensive heat pasteurization process.

During the past two years, the company worked with the dairy industry and U.S. regulators to win approval to use ultraviolet light to eliminate microbial contamination in water at dairy plants and processing sites.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently gave its stamp of approval—an endorsement that Phyllis Posy, Atlantium’s vice president of strategic services and regulatory affairs, says could boost the market for UV purification of water across a number of industries.

“It’s not just a question of the dairy market. This is the first time UV has been put on the map with specific, clear and measurable criteria. I think this will make a big difference for the overall [UV] industry,” Posy told the Cleantech Group. “It helps people feel more comfortable with the use of UV for disinfection as an alternative to chemicals.”

Pasteurization is used to eliminate bacteria, making milk safe to drink. But the milk can be contaminated if the equipment and pipes that handle the milk are flushed with water that hasn’t been properly disinfected.

Typically, dairy …