Green chemistry in the automotive industry: Collaborative efforts to reformulate cleaners and improve solvent-handling practices

Kristi A. Kneas1, Mike Fontinell2, Özge Sezer3, Drew L. Armstrong1, and Alice R. Brank1. (1) Division of Natural Sciences, Maryville College, 502 East Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville, TN 37804, (2) Environmental Engineering, DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, INC, 1720 Robert C. Jackson Drive, Maryville, TN 37801, (3) Production Engineering-Instrument Cluster Division, DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, INC, 1720 Robert C. Jackson Drive, Maryville, TN 37804

ABSTRACT: Historically, manufacturing of circuit plates and screen-printing of dashboards at DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, Inc., have required washing of equipment such as screens, stencils, and jigs with known volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants. Collaborative efforts between the Maryville College Department of Chemistry and DENSO have resulted in a reduction in the use of such solvents, and DENSO remains in compliance with the EPA's requirements. Individual projects are initiated during an analytical chemistry course when students meet with DENSO associates to discuss a pressing research problem. During the semester, students design and perform preliminary experiments and draft a research proposal that the instructor submits to DENSO. Funded work is completed under the supervision of the instructor during the summer, and recommendations are included in a final report. The nature of the collaboration will be further discussed, as will the positive outcomes to the environment, students and faculty at MC, and employees at DENSO.