December 8, 2014
BEHR Premium Plus Interior/Exterior Oil Based Primer and Sealer: Materials
Otho Behr, Jr founded the well-known company BEHR shortly after World War II. At its start, BEHR was selling linseed oil to paint stores from the back of Otho Behr Jr.’s car. It was only when his customers started requesting paint that would work better on redwood that Otho Behr Jr. went to his father Dr. Otho Behr Sr., an accomplished chemist, for help in developing a paint formula. Together they started producing clear finish and stain for redwood in the Behr family garage. In 1986, BEHR expanded into making interior and exterior paints. More recently BEHR created the Premium Plus Interior/Exterior Oil-Based Primer and Sealer. This product has taken what was once a several task-based process and made it into a one step process. By researching this BEHR’s Oil Based Primer and Sealer, we can see that while there are many raw materials that make up the product, the secondary materials are what really come into play in the compositing this product.
BEHR Premium Plus Interior/Exterior Oil Based Primer and Sealer is composed of several different materials and chemicals. Starting with BEHR’s MSDS (Material Data Safety Sheets) there are approximately eight chemicals that make up the product, they are: Ethylbenzene, Titanium Dioxide, Long Oil Alkyd, Talc; Magnesium Silicate Hydrate, Calcium Carbonate; Limestone, Distillates (petroleum) Hydotreated light; Kerosene, Silicate, and Mineral Spirits. By breaking down each chemical or material we will have a better understanding of the composition of the primer and sealer.
The organic compound Ethylbenzene is the first chemical found in the product. It is an extremely flammable and colorless liquid. It can naturally be found in petroleum and coal tar, as well as in manufactured products, such as paints, wood stains and varnishes. In paint, Ethylbenzene acts as a hydrocarbon solvent. Combining benzene and ethylene in an acid-catalyzed chemical reaction produces Ethylbenzene. (Sahoo, P.2) This makes Ethylbenzene a secondary raw material since it had to be produced using the primary materials, benzene, and ethylene.
The second material found is Titanium Dioxide. It is an inorganic compound produced as a pure white powder, this gives the primer/sealer the white color that it has. Titanium Dioxide is formed in two different crystal forms, anatase and rutile. Anatase is commonly used in food, drugs and cosmetics because it is softer and less abrasive in comparison to rutile. Rutile Titanium Dioxide is a much more compact atomic structure allowing it to have a higher refractive index and better stability. (Sensient Technologies) Eighty percent of the world’s requirements of Titanium Dioxide are fulfilled by rutile. “Titanium is found in the earths crust in a mineral oxide called ilmenite and in a less common ore, also called rutile.” (Sensient Technologies) To obtain Titanium Dioxide, one must first process Iron ores with high titanium content for iron; this will result in slag, which is then processed to produce Titanium Dioxide. There are two different ways to process slag to obtain Titanium Dioxide, Sulfate and Chloride. When processing Slag using sulfate, the slag is treated with sulfuric acid, this results in titanyl sulfate that is hydrolyzed to form a hydrate that is calcined to form titanium dioxide. Today, more than twenty companies in twenty countries produce over eight billion pounds of Titanium Dioxide.
One of the components of the paints, finishes and varnishes is a resin, which is an oil-modified polyester that functions as a film-forming agent. (Encyclopedia Britannica Online) In the BEHR Premium Plus interior/exterior oil-based primer and sealer the resin being used is a Long Oil Alkyd. A long oil alkyd is classified by it oil content. It must contain fifty-six percent or more oil content to be classified as a long oil alkyd. These are commonly found in interior and exterior finishes and coatings. Long Oil Alkyds found in the primer/sealer allows for the smooth brushing action. Other properties of the long oil alkyd are that it has excellent flexibility, retains gloss, fast drying and durable.
The next material found in the primer/sealer is Talc, Magnesium Silicate hydrate. Talc is a secondary mineral that is formed by hydrothermal actions and regional metamorphism of rocks rich in magnesium like dolomite, pyroxenite, amphibolite, serpentine, dunite, and chlorite. (Minerals, Powder, Hydrated Magnesium Silicate, Powder Uses) There are several deposits of talc found all around the world, including Austria, Italy, France, Canada, and the United States. In its powder form, Talc is an industrial raw material used as a product in a wide range of applications. In the paint industry “foliated, fibrous or lamellar talc of fine mesh (300 mesh) is preferred”(Minerals, Powder, Hydrated Magnesium Silicate, Powder Uses) It is used as paint or an extender in paint industry. When selecting the talc the main criteria’s that are considered are the color, particle size and oil absorption.
Calcium Carbonate is one of the most useful and versatile materials found in three forms, chalk, limestone, and marble. In the BEHR primer/sealer the form that is found is Limestone. Calcium Carbonate is found on more then four percent of the earths crust. It is produced from the sedimentation of fossilized shellfish and coral over millions of years. (Industrial Minerals Association) Almost all calcium carbonate rocks have impurities found in them, such as clay, however some rocks can be up to nighty-seven percent pure. The limestone found acts as a filler as well as a coating pigment due to its white color.
The next material used is the distillates (petroleum) hydrotreated light – Kerosene. Kerosene is a distillated solvent, it is a thin and clear liquid that is a mixture of hydrocarbons. (How Kerosene Is Made) Kerosene is primary obtained from petroleum, however it can also be extracted from coal, oil shale, and wood. The petroleum chemicals found deep within the earth is what the kerosene is extracted from. It contains rocks, water, oil and other contaminates of the reservoirs made of layers of sandstone and carbonate rock. The oil found is a result of the decaying organisms that where buried along with the sediments of earlier eras. Over tens of thousands of years this resulted into petroleum, through a complex chemical process. Later Kerosene is extracted from the petroleum and used in paint, primers, and varnishes as a solvent.
One of the final materials found in the primer/sealer is Silicate. Silicate is naturally found in a solid state such as, flint or opal. (Silica, Amorphous [MAK Value Documentation) The largest deposits of silicate is found in the United States, other deposits are found in Algeria, Kenya, the USSR, Mexico, Australia, China, and South Korea. Silicate is used for several different purposes; one being as an additive in varnishes, paints, and glues. Silicate is added to resins to adjust the viscosity of the paint. Paint requires both low and high viscosity, low viscosity so that it is easy to apply and high viscosity so that it will not drip once it has been applied. By adding the silicate to the prime/sealer it is allowing for the viscosity to be adjusted once it is being used.
The final material that is found in the primer/sealer is Mineral Spirit. Much like the other materials Mineral Spirit is a secondary material that is created from the combination of chemicals such as aliphatic, alicyclic and alkyl aromatic hydrocarbons. Mineral Spirits are used for thinning paint. Mineral spirits are used as a substitute for turpentine, a solvent that thins out the thickness of paint. Turpentine has many harmful features such as noxious odor that make it very difficult to breath and causes nausea. Turpentine is also highly flammable and is an overall a hazardous product. By using mineral spirits in the primer/sealer BEHR is insuring the safely and well being of their customers, as well as keeping the cost of the product as low as possible since mineral spirit costs less than turpentine.
After reviewing all the raw materials that make up the BEHR Premium Plus Oil-Based Interior/Exterior Primer and Sealer, it is obvious that very little primary materials are being used. The key materials, Ethylbenze, Titanium Dioxide, Long Oil Alkyd, Calcium Carbonate – Limestone, Kerosene, Talc, Silicate, and mineral spirits are all secondary materials and chemicals obtained through the process of combining or extracting chemicals from the primary materials found. At times the material is synthetically made to reduce the costs or obtaining the natural resource.
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Jennifer L. Fiol
November 28, 2014
BEHR Oil Based Enamel Paint
BEHR is a well-known and renowned company, especially in the field of paint, primers, stains and varnishes. Producing paint products since 1986, they are remarkably one of the industry’s top recognized companies. More recently publicized for their two in one paint and primers, BEHR has taken what were once separate tasks and combined them into a single entity. Thereby cutting paint jobs completion times by half, thus saving the consumer time and energy. This leads to the question, “Is energy really being saved?” In order to save the consumer this “energy,” what amount of energy is actually being consumed and where? This quest would turn out to be the basis for my research.
Anyone who has been in a hardware stores paint department has certainly seen this brand marked by their famous logo of the Grizzly Bear. BEHR is a company that has been around since the late 1940s. Originating as a stain and varnish supplier, developed in Otho Behr Jr. and Sr.’s garage the company has expanded to a corporation that produces not only stains and varnish but also a full range of paints and primers. In order to find out the consumption of energy in product development a choice had to be made first as to which would be the basis for the research. BEHR’s Oil Based Enamel Paint was the selected from the vast field of products, versatile as both an interior and exterior paint it gained an average of 3.5 stars in consumer ratings.
The search for energy begins with first understanding the product composition. Beginning with BEHR’s Material Data Safety Sheets or MSDS’s there were 5 key ingredients found in the paint. Listed as shown in order: Talc (Magnesium silicate hydrate), Amorphous Silica, Titanium Dioxide, Calcium Carbonate (limestone), (Distillates (petroleum), hydrotreated light) Kerosene). The first four ingredients are minerals procured though mining. Mining takes place all over the world depending on the mineral and its abundance in a particular region. Mining requires running a lot of heavy machinery in its operation process. The process begins by drilling test portals for samples, once selected an area is then ready to be set up for the next stage of blasting. This process incorporates intricate drilling at depths that are dependent upon the mineral type and formulation, followed by expulsion through blasting. Most modern blasting is through ANFO (ammonium nitrate/fuel oil), slurries, and emulsions. All of which require chemical energy along with thermal energy to allow detonation. The minerals are then quarried or milled, excavated by heavy machinery including; large hydraulic shovels, haul bed trucks, water trucks (dust control), and smaller diggers for load help. Monitoring of the complete process is by computer control, to ensure safety and productivity. The magnitude of energy output is enormous just in this beginning stage of development. Types of energy expand from human kinetic energy (machinery running and monitoring) and chemical energy (metabolism). Chemical energy and thermal energy used in powering excavation blasts (ammonium nitrate/fuel oil, slurries, and emulsions). Again more chemical energy used in machinery (hydraulic fluid (lifting compound), oil (lubricants), diesel/petroleum (machine power)). The last ingredient Kerosene derived mostly from refined petroleum again mined and extracted using drilling as the main means. As you can see, much of the energy consumed in the early stages of development is non-renewable fossil fuels.
In order for minerals to be usable, processing must take place. The processing plant carries out the accomplishment of this task. Many parts must work cohesively in order for a plant to work smoothly and be productive. Often the basic parts of a plant change based on the type of mineral processed, environmental elements, and economic capabilities of the each company. Although, research has shown that most processes require the same standard equipment. Before shipment to large consumers, the excavated slabs of rock first are processed. From the quarry/mill, heavy haulers move these large slabs of rock minerals to conveyer belts which move them to massive grinders. The crushed particles then continue through a series of screens depending on desired size of the mineral. This potentially could be a multi stage process, requiring repeating, depending on final size and element. Many workers oversee this process to ensure quality control. For some minerals, this is the final stage of processing and they are stored for shipment or pickup. Most minerals however require further refinement in order to be in a usable state. This stage of development again requires conveyers to carry the pulverized mineral to large kilns where they are heat infused to separate and break down the desirable elements within them from the less wanted. The use of water/steam to collect these unwanted airborne released chemicals prevents them from going into the environment. These disposed chemicals and sub waste products may then be processed or refined into other useable materials to minimize waste and pollutants. Accomplished next are quality checks, if passed; minerals are moved on to packaging and stored in containers for shipment. The main energy source that supplies the plant is electrical energy. Massive electrical conductors allow the plant to maintain its daily operations. Still chemical energy usage is high, although becomes less evident when compared to the usage of the electrical energy. Consumed still is diesel, powering the heavy hauling equipment that brings and removes the unprocessed and finished products. Also, depending on diesel as their main source of energy are the small engine driven equipment such as air compressors, and pumps, along with power generators. Produced from heating kilns and the friction crushing process of the minerals is thermal energy. One of the smaller amount of energy consumed is that of human kinetic energy used in maintaining equipment and working mobile equipment. Finally, there is again chemical energy found in the metabolizing of calories in the humans.
The next phase takes us from packaged refined minerals to sea going cargo. At processing plants, forklifts load packaged minerals into containers. Next, they attach containers to large big rig trucks for transit to shipping ports. There the containers are stored in stacks until its particular cargo carrier arrives. Moving the container into loading position requires the use of a special chassis and cab called a bomb cart. This cart is computer controlled and places the containers alongside the cargo ships. A container gantry crane then attaches to the container, and lifts it off the bomb cart to complete the loading process. Fully loaded cargo ships then begin their journey at sea, their destination, the delivery port. The unloading process happens just as the loading, but in reverse. This third stage of energy use, consumes massive quantities of chemical energy in the realm of fossil fuels. Cargo ships run on bunker fuel, which is crude oil. It is distilled oil and is highly pollutant. Depending on ship size or TEU (a standardized measurement based on the container capacity of the ship) there is a direct relationship to the amount of fuel consumption. Most cargo ships TEU range from 4000 (smaller vessels) to 10,000 plus giving a bunker fuel consumption range of 50,000 tons per day to 175,000 tons per day. Powering most shipyard equipment mentioned is electrical energy from the dock, better known as “shore energy.” The vehicles used in the transportation process again consume energy in the form of chemical or fossil fuels (diesel). The least energy expanded in this process is that of human kinetic and chemical energy (metabolizing).
Once transports deliver raw minerals to the paint plants, processing and paint development begins. Forklifts remove solid materials and store them into warehouses, while liquid materials go into solvent tanks. Processing begins with the raw materials transported to mixing tanks. There they are combined until a mixture is formed that contains a consistent viscosity. Pneumatic tubal systems then move the mixture from the mixing tanks to disperser machines, there the separation of pigment particles take place for later processing in sand mills. Sand mills reduce pigment size so that they disperse better into liquid formulations. The mixture then moves pneumatically from there to blending drums for the introduction of additives (Kerosene). The paint is filtered one last time to ensure proper tonal blending and moved to packaging. In this final stage, a conveyor sends paint cans over glue rollers. They continue to label machines which affix labels to the cans and from there moved towards the filling compressor. The compressor then pumps the finished paint into the labeled cans and lids are applied. Paint filled cans are then sent to a machine called a palletizer which stacks them for movement to the shipyard. Human driven forklifts either stack pallets orderly to wait for shipping or load them into contains headed to retailers. Paint Plants combine many different energy uses to produce their final product. There is a lot of human kinetic energy is use operating machines and running computer systems, keeping the plant safe and orderly. Mechanical energy uses air in the pneumatic pump systems to move materials through plant stages. Electrical energy is the main supplier, powering all immobile machinery throughout plant, from computers to mixers. Chemical energy (fossil fuels) power the mobile equipment such as load trucks and forklifts. Thermal energy is at use in kilns, with the mineral separation processes. At this stage, we can see that the plant process has encompassed far vaster energy type consumptions than any of the previous stages discussed.
In the final leg of its journey, transportation of completed paint is to the retailer. This is accomplished either be by ground (freight trucks), air (cargo planes), or sea (Cargo ships). Whatever their transporter the outcome is the retail store. There pallets are unloaded again by human driven forklifts and stacked in the warehouse. Store associates scan products into computer systems to acknowledge that the retailer has received the shipment. A warehouse associate will then use pallet jacks to move the product from there to the sales floor, where stockers unload the product and shelve it for sales. They will also apply sales tags, and label product display so that consumers can easily purchase the product. The consumer then commutes to the retailer by their choice of transportation. This tends to be mostly automobile vehicle types, and then proceeds to purchase their can of BEHR Oil Based Enamel Paint. A sales associate will complete this transaction through a computer system and the consumer goes on to put the product to use. A stocker will go on to replenish the recently purchased product, thus causing the cycle of events previously outlined in the production of the paint to repeat. Much of the energy consumed in this final production stage of the paint is electrical energy, the powering of the retail store (lighting, security systems, and computer systems). In relation however, there is far more expelled kinetic energy by humans with respect to the amount of electrical energy consumed. Especially, when looking at the previous stages of development, the reliability on human energy is at much higher quantities at this stage. The output of chemical energy in the form of fossil fuels is also much lower at this level of production but is still in use.
To answer my previous question, “Is energy really being saved?” This question does not seem so difficult to answer at this point. Yes, the energy consumption of the consumer is cut in half thanks to the ingenuity of the chemist who found a way to combine two separate products into one entity. But energy is never “lost” or completely removed. The energy saved by the consumer finds it way tenfold back into the processing of this new and improved product. This is not by any means a discredit to BEHR as a company or their product but to us as humans. Until we can develop a strategy or a means to control or eliminate our use of often harmful, nonrenewable energy sources, we will continue to consume at these massive unnoticed rates. Which leads to my final question, “Where will that leave us?”
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December 5, 2014
BEHR PREMIUM PLUS® Interior/Exterior Oil-Based Primer & Sealer
Waste & Emissions
There is not much in the way of readily available information with regard to the waste and emissions caused by the production, usage, and disposal of oil-based household paints and primers. Even less information exists about the waste caused by the BEHR brand specifically. Research about the ways companies that manufacture similar products are working to reduce the amount of waste and emissions on these products is far more abundant, even though it remains vague about the human and environmental costs that are being remedied. There has been research into the short and long-term health hazards associated with exposure to many compounds related to paint manufacture, however. Beginning with the primary ingredients in BEHR paint, as discussed in relation to energy consumption in the paints’ production, waste and emissions— when considered in regard to mining, processing, transportation, and use— is surprisingly impactful.
From the Material Data Sheets, BEHR lists Talc (Magnesium silicate hydrate), Amorphous Silica, Titanium Dioxide, Calcium Carbonate (limestone), and Distillates (petroleum) hydrotreated light (Kerosene) as ingredients in the primer. Therefore, waste produced from general mining of the first four ingredients and extracting petroleum for general industrial uses parallel the waste produced in relation to the paint primer and sealer.
Mining waste, spillage, and byproducts often result in the need for land remediation under the classification of superfund sites, defined by the EPA as “an uncontrolled or abandoned place where hazardous waste is located, possibly affecting local ecosystems or people” (Web). Although superfund sites and other remediation is performed at mines, including talc and limestone mines, which often leave permanent scars on the earth, (Anand Talc, web), the Purity Oil Sales Inc. superfund site near Fresno, CA serves as an example of contamination that can result from acquisition, re-use, recycling, and waste management aspects of the BEHR paint products. According to the EPA, this superfund site operated until the 1970s, where it was used to reprocess oil and oil byproducts (EPA, web). The oil and resultant products were stored in tanks and pits. Local farmers used the oil (recycling) to control dust and often it wound up in unlined pits or spilled. When the operation began to fail, the oil was not properly removed (and tanks began to rust), allowing the oil to seep into groundwater supplied and even providing fuel for a severe fire. Due to subsequent organic, pesticide, and metallic compound seepage into soil and ground water, usage and contact with this area has ceased. Oil used in the manufacturing and transport of paint products will be discussed in the coming sections, but similar risks can be considered in regard to storage, use, and recycling of many other compounds used for paint manufacture.
To manage this superfund site, the EPA removed and shipped about 60,000 gallons of liquid, almost half of which was underground. They fenced the area and have been pumping as a way to contain the contamination. In addition, clay liner, vegetation, and vapor extraction systems are still being implemented to cover the area. As recently as 2000, residents were paid to leave the area as soil contamination spread. Many superfund efforts last for decades if not indefinitely (EPA, web). The mining and oil extraction processes used to provide raw material and waste management for paint product manufacturing are no different and can serve to highlight the environmental costs of many industrial endeavors.
Solvents, such as isopropanol, toluene, xylene, chlorinated solvents, methylene chloride, trichloroethylene, and perchloroethylene are used in the processing of oil-based paints and primers to increase their versatility and longevity (Hassan et. al). One could argue that human exposure to either liquid solvents or their gaseous emissions should be considered waste in the production of paint products. Any exposure by workers to these solvents is not only a material waste of some amount of solvent for its primary purpose of improving the paint, but it is also a waste of human capital (and a waste of health care resources, provided much of the exposure and ill effects are preventable if skin exposure and respiration of solvents are minimized). According to Hassan et al., workers at paint manufacturing plants had a higher incidence of psychological symptoms than a control group. These symptoms included headache, depression, weakness, memory impairment, and reduced motor control. Incidence of the neurological symptoms increased for workers as their tenure increased, and protective equipment did not decrease the risk (since skin exposure is increased when transitioning the equipment as it is used more). They suggest higher worker turnover, health examinations, eye wash stations, showers, first-aid training, and a transition to water-based paint (2013).
In addition to the waste in human capital, solvents indirectly cause the problems associated with process water, or wastewater that is used to clean up and reuse solvents, as it is discharged from processing plants (Dursun and Sengul, web). Equipment cleaned with solvents and solvent spills are diluted with water, which is distilled to allow the reuse of some solvent, and then is discharged with any remaining solvent. While the amount of discharged water is low at approximately 5 m3/d, the cost for treating a disposing of wastewater is quite high. Durson and Sengul recommend safe storage and removal of the wastewater, and the limitation of the number of different solvents used in processing (so to avoid cross contamination and allow easier remediation). Not only would this reduce changes to the pH of the outside environment, but also it would reduce indoor air pollution and help minimize the health effects as previously discussed.
Transportation of paint products and raw materials necessary for paint production directly emits greenhouse gases (CO2, methane, etc.) although transportation of waste associated with the production also poses its own risks for human and environmental exposure (EPA pollution guide 60). Furthermore, oil must be used to heat the reactors that are utilized to recycle solvents. Once the oil has lost its useful properties, it must be disposed using a hazard-conscious method (Dursun and Sengul, web). Although the emissions and pollutants related to transportation, production, sale, and use of paint would be difficult to quantify, these emissions would correlate strongly with the stages and types of energy use as discussed in the energy analysis (Fiol 3). Fuel and electricity used in mining, heating, and transporting paint and associated materials lead to greenhouse emissions. Essentially, any input energy as discussed, even kinetic energy for human use of paint or processing, either directly or indirectly leads to greenhouse emissions (CO2Now, web). Taking the construction industry as an example, a UK government report found that manufacturing results in a substantial portion (15%) of overall emissions relation to construction activities, dwarfing distribution (1%). Only the actual use of constructed buildings (83%) resulted in more emissions (Department for Business Innovation & Skills, web). Assuming a similar distribution of needs related to paint primer processing from start to finish, it could be inferred that manufacturing emissions and waste are far more substantial than transporting emissions and waste.
Similarly to the human capital waste discussed previously, regarding the dangers of solvents in the processing of paints, illness related to the use of paint can be just as serious. BEHR lists the following dangers for the use of its oil-based primer and sealant, which it describes as “Combustible. Irritant” in an overview: may cause eye irritation, may cause skin irritation, may cause respiratory tract irritation with inhalation, harmful if swallowed (causing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.), drying of the skin with repeated exposure, headaches, dizziness, kidney problems, and more. They also found it to be possibly carcinogenic (BEHR MSDS, web). The purpose of bringing this information to light is not paint BEHR as having ill intent. In fact, they also recommend many precautions in using the primer, including ventilation, goggles, and aprons to name a few. Nevertheless, considering most paint users are unlikely to follow even a few of these recommendations, the risk for environmental and health problems is great. Furthermore, many of the concerns previously raised about the processing of the paint arise again with its use: solvent exposure, excess paint removal, and storage issues.
In considering general and specific cases of waste in raw material acquisition, processing, distribution, use, recycling, and of course waste management, it is clear why consideration seems to have been given to reducing the negative impacts of such processes. However, with a multidisciplinary approach, the wasteful aspects of products such as BEHR oil-based paint can be brought to light. As the paint industry seemingly seeks to decrease risk, the still-remaining dangers of the use of solvents and the pollution related to industry must not be downplayed. Consumers overlook many facets of paint production and use, but their impacts remain great despite efforts to remediate and protect.
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