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Tackling Manufacturing Waste Inside the Tanks

LiquiGlideViscous liquids sticking to equipment, such as blenders, reactors and tanks, creates problems such as waste and added expense for manufacturers.

To address this, LiquiGlide has expanded its super-slippery coating beyond consumer packaging — existing customers include Elmers Products and Pact Group Holdings, which use the coating to reduce wasted product in glue containers and paint cans, respectively — to manufacturing applications.

The company says in manufacturing tank applications, the product has been shown to reduce up to 95 percent of product waste, wash water and the associated cleaning costs.

LiquiGlide’s co-founder and MIT Professor, Kripa Varanasi says products sticking to the inside of tanks leads to inefficiencies across industries.

“For example, in paint manufacturing alone, paint sticking to the inside of mixing and holding tanks costs the industry more than 100 million gallons of lost product and billions of dollars per year in associated waste costs,” he said.

Dave Smith, LiquiGlide’s CEO and co-founder, said the CleanTanX system can be used “across a range of manufacturing applications — from food and personal care, to adhesives, agrochemicals and energy — to help companies tackle these complex challenges and improve their bottom line.”

It could also be used to speed up the shedding of water droplets in steam turbines, Varanasi told the Economist. Coating the condensed areas used in steam turbines would boost efficiency and save money at coal, gas and nuclear power plants that rely on steam turbines, he explained.

Varanasi told MIT News that LiquiGlide also aims next to tackle buildup in oil and gas pipelines, which can cause corrosion and clogs that reduce flow.

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