With materials made from recycled content and pulp derived from responsibly harvested trees, Richlite’s goal is to achieve success while leaving behind a smaller footprint. Complete with FSC certification by the Rainforest Alliance and GREENGUARD accreditation, Richlite is committed to minimizing its impact by using sustainably-derived resources, through sound manufacturing and business practices, and by working with partners who share similar goals. Richlite’s openness is designed to hold the company and the industry accountable, and to create a dialogue on responsible manufacturing and distribution practices.
Richlite uses both ethanol and methanol as a solvent in the resin system. The choice to use a mixture is due to the low amount of energy required to burn off the emissions during the saturation process, as alternative resins require excessively higher amounts of energy. Through the process, called WE™ (Waste-to-Energy) Technology, essentially a closed-loop energy system, wasted resin is recaptured and used as fuel during the drying stage, minimizing Richlite’s natural gas usage by 83%.
Carbon Footprint Report
Richlite began tracking emissions in 2005 using the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol), which was developed through a partnership between the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Richlite set a 5-year goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 30%. By 2005, Richlite exceeded the goal with a total 32% decrease of CO2 emissions.
Richlite’s exclusive saturation equipment captures energy from the manufacturing process and recycles it back into the heating system as energy.
- The Vertical Drying Tower is heated to the required temperature, 600°F (315°C)
- Exhaust from the drying tower is captured and cooled to 230°F (110°C) by ambient air
- The cooled exhaust enters the heat exchanger at 230°F (110°C) and is heated to 600°F (315°C) as it passes 900°F (482°C) air (see step 5)
- A catalytic bed destroys 99.99% of VOC’s which generates clean 900°F (482°C) air
- Part of the 900°F (482°C) air is sent back through the heat exchanger, cooling it to 400°F (204°C)
- The remaining 900°F (482°C) clean air is captured and returned to the drying tower – bypassing the heat exchanger
- Before exiting to the atmosphere, 30% of the 400°F (204°C) air is directed back to the drying tower
- Combining the 900°F (482°C) air with the 400°F (204°C) air equalizes to 600°F (315°C), which is recycled into the drying tower, eliminating the need for an additional heat source and creating self-sustaining energy
Using a phenolic resin in the manufacturing process, Richlite achieves unsurpassed quality in the finished product and minimizes energy consumption, with no added Urea Formaldehyde. In addition to reduced energy consumption, the phenolic resin has the EcoBind™ designation, due to the fact it is one of the lowest VOC emitters on the resin market. EcoBind™ resins have been formulated to meet or exceed all global emission standards including US HUD, European EMB, and Japanese standards, as well as specifications recommended by the Green Building Council and the State of California.