By evaluating our use of energy and looking for opportunities to improve energy efficiency, we reduce our impact on the environment and improve operations. We plan to assess potential implementation of technologies and processes that can increase the energy efficiency of our operations and deliver both reduced emissions and lower operating costs.
Genesis Energy’s Sodium Minerals and Sulfur Services business segment operates the world’s largest natural soda ash mines and production sites. Soda ash is widely used in glass manufacturing, soaps, detergents, and other cleaning products and provides a sodium source for the production of pharmaceuticals, food preservatives, adhesives, and pulp and paper and is a key component in the lithium compounds used in rechargeable batteries and other energy efficient technologies.
According to the Life-Cycle Analysis conducted by the Industrial Minerals Association North America (IMA-NA), when compared with synthetic soda ash, natural soda ash production is considerably less energy-intensive (by roughly 40 percent), emits less greenhouse gases, and has a lower production cost. As a result, over 50 percent of natural soda ash produced in the United States is exported which results in a positive trade balance for the United States.
Through the use of new technologies, we strive to reduce our energy intensity and GHG intensity even as we increase soda ash production. One such new technology includes recovery of mine water for refinement into soda ash. In recent years, Genesis Energy’s improvements in efficiency and strategic approaches to rail shipping have allowed us to transport more product tonnage with fewer trips. Fewer trips lowers both fuel consumption and GHG emissions.