chemical industries

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These cover a wide variety of upstream and downstream chemicals and activities, ranging from basic chemistry (mineral and organic) to cleaning products and cosmetics. The extreme variability in manufacturing methods, often intermittent, prevent valid characteristics to be given for this industrial sector where only an audit will enable to correctly identify the pollutants workshop by workshop, even operation by operation.

However, it is possible to define the general characteristics of the types of effluent generated by this sector :

  • hard COD
  • organohalogenic compounds ( AOX )
  • metals which can sometimes be in the form of difficult-to-treat complexes …

The table shows the share of releases into water by the chemical industry, within the manufacturing sector :

Pollutant chemical industrySecured image
Table 70. Pollutant discharges into water by the chemical industry, declared by the manufacturing sector (2004-2009 average) [General Commission for Sustainable Development, November 2011, Environment-Pressures and Impacts "Industrial Discharges into water]

According to the IED Directive, the chemical industry has reduced its environmental footprint regarding its liquid discharges :

  • 46% reduction in COD, 90% in TSS and 96% in heavy metals since 2005.
  • lowering of water intake by 35% since 2003

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