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Technology Diffusion: State and Regional Efforts
Table of Contents
Background and Overview
The ADOP2T Model
Initiating an ADOP2T Program
Reasons to Change
Barriers to Change
State and Regional Efforts
Key Contacts
Complete List of Links

Essential Links:

ADOP2T for Metal Forming and Machining Sectors
ISTC has developed a technical assistance program to improve adoption of pollution prevention techno...

ADOP2T for the Metal Finishing Industry
ISTC has developed a technical assistance program to improve adoption of pollution prevention techno...

ADOP2T Videos
At this web site you may download or watch several video clips related to the ISTC Accelerated Diffu...

Conductivity Control System Technology
As part of the WMRC Accelerated Diffusion of Pollution Prevention Technologies (ADOP2T) program, sta...

Copper Reduction in QMA's Wastewater Using TMT
QMA, Inc. is located at 1390 Lunt Avenue in Elk Grove Village, IL. The company makes printed wiring...

Effect of Barrel Design on Drag-out Rate
This report provides the results of a study conducted by the Chicago Metal Finishers Institute (CMFI...

Evaluation of Ultrafiltration for In-Process Recycling of Cleaning Solution at Ford?s Chicago Stamp...
This report describes a project conducted to evaluate the technical and economic potential for ultra...

Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center Metal Finishing Initiative (MFI)
This portion of the KPPC web site describes an initiative to work with Kentucky industries that cond...

Pollution Prevention Assistance Tools for the Fiber Reinforced Plastics and Boat Manufacturing Indus...
MnTAP, in partnership with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Small Business Assistance P...

Example State Technology Diffusion Efforts

Illinois-Metal Finishing and Printed Wiring Board

This project is a partnership among a state government agency, the Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), a POTW (the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago), and the Chicago Metal Finishers Institute (CMFI). Since 2000, ISTC has been using the ADOP2T model to substantially improve the diffusion of innovative P2 practices within this sector. ISTC identified opinion leaders within this sector and recruited them to participate in this project as "mentor" companies. About 12 companies volunteered to participate. A wide variety of electroplating and other metal finishing operations were included in this group. The shops agreed to be "mentor" facilities to promote the P2 technology to other shops. A focus group meeting was conducted to determine their specific pollution prevention technology needs and interests. Many technologies and pollution prevention needs were identified during this meeting. For some, technology development was needed. For others technology transfer/verification was needed before pilot testing was warranted. However, several technologies were deemed to be suitable for pilot testing.

With these mentor facilities, ISTC project engineers developed and began executing 51 pilot trials of 11 innovative P2 processes and technologies at the 12 mentor facilities. As of July 2003 these projects are at various stages of completion. These are shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Summary of Chicago Metal Finishing Pilot Projects

Technology Pilots Implemented Rejected Evaluating
Conductivity Controls 4 3 0 1
Reverse Osmosis 3 0 0 3
Ultrafiltration 15 12 1 2
Bath Filtration 2 2 0 0
Barrel Design 1 1 0 0
Water Reduction 9 8 0 1
Electroless Nickel 1 0 0 1
Acid Reclamation 3 0 3 0
Evaporation 2 0 2 0
Microbial Cleaners 1 0 0 1
Energy Efficiency 10 7 0 3
TOTALS 51 33 6 12

In order to match technologies with facilities, P2 assessments of the operations were conducted. ISTC personnel and other participating project members visited each shop to determine the variety and extent of its metal finishing and waste management operations. The shops were also studied to determine their rates of water usage, wastewater treatment practices, cleaning chemical usage, and interest levels regarding participation in specific technology evaluation projects. The results of the assessments were used to develop scopes of work and to identify test sites for pilot trials of innovative technologies.

In recent years, the Printed Wiring Board (PWB) sector in Illinois has come under increasing regulatory scrutiny with respect to metals in their effluent. Pollution prevention technologies show potential to reduce pollutant discharges. Specific P2 and best management practices (including water conservation) that can help reduce wastewater discharges and waste generation at PWB sources include:

  • Minimizing drag-out between process baths
  • Using countercurrent rinsing
  • Managing rinses with flow control devices
  • Extending bath life using advanced filtration technologies
  • Pre-treating spent baths
  • Controlling bath makeup

Unfortunately, P2 continues to diffuse relatively slowly across the PWB sector due to concerns about potential negative impacts on product quality. Typically there is little question that the candidate technologies will reduce process waste and save money. But issues of compatibility and complexity (how they fit into the overall production process) are of great enough concern that the technologies are not adopted.

ISTC began working, in cooperation with the Chicagoland Circuit Board Association (CCBA), to test the ADOP2T model within the Illinois PWB sector. Meetings were held with opinion leaders in the PWB industry to identify P2 opportunities. ISTC and CCBA project engineers are carrying out several demonstration and pilot trial projects of innovative P2 processes and technologies in various "mentor" shops.

As of 2003, ISTC has worked with three POTWs to provide technical assistance to the PWB facilities identified as having problems with their discharge. Twelve PWB facilities have been assisted including conducting assessments of their operations to determine the extent of their pollution prevention and waste management practices. Their rates of water usage, cleaning chemical usage, and interest levels regarding participation in specific technology evaluation projects have also been determined. In 2003 two reverse osmosis projects to recycle wastewater and two conductivity control projects to reduce water usage were initiated. An ultrafiltration project to recycle rinse water was also evaluated. Other facilities have expressed an interest in piloting projects, but lack of equipment has delayed start-up.

Kentucky-Metal Finishing

In 2001, the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center (KPPC) initiated a technology diffusion project based on the successful ADOP2T model developed by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC). KPPC technical staff visited the ISTC facility to view firsthand how the model was developed and operates. KPPC's program, called the Kentucky Metal Finishing Initiative (KMFI) targeted the metal finishing sector. The concept was simple. KPPC offered to purchase proven P2 technologies for a facility as an applied research project. The metal finisher, in return, would agree to reimburse KPPC for these costs if the payback was within a certain agreed-upon time period. To promote the initiative, KPPC (serving in the role as a stakeholder) met with the American Electroplaters and Surface Finishers (AESF) Bluegrass Chapter, the state trade association for the metal finishing industry. To further promote KMFI, KPPC offered two one-day workshops on "Pollution Prevention for Metal Finishers" in Bowling Green and Lexington, Kentucky.

KPPC's marketing efforts eventually attracted seven Kentucky metal finishers interested in KMFI. Of these, one facility agreed to participate in the program. KPPC technical personnel conducted a P2 assessment at the facility and identified P2 opportunities and cost savings. KPPC subsequently developed a proposal to purchase a totalizer and three conductivity meters for one of the automated plating lines. An agreement was reached whereby the facility reimbursed KPPC for the equipment costs (total of $4,835) if payback was achieved within 12 months.

In four months, the facility saved $6,112, including $4,495 in reduced water and sewer charges (487,744 gallons/year) and $1,617 in reduced wastewater treatment chemical usage (996 gallons/year). In addition to the water, sewer and chemical savings, the metal finisher experienced other benefits including:

  • No quality concerns related to the changes in the rinsing stages and no decrease in work volume.
  • The facility maintains a sand filter for wastewater polishing. This filter requires periodic back flushing for cleaning daily. Back flushing has been reduced by 60% due to lower water usage; labor and process efficiency savings have also been recognized.
  • Plant water pressure increased which provides more consistency in water flow to other plating lines.

The results of this project illustrate that issues of compatibility and complexity were critical to successful adoption. In this case, companies were first approached with some technologies for consideration. Reasons why more companies did not participate need to be determined. One factor may be that the technologies proposed were not the ones of greatest interest to these companies. A focus group session is planned with the companies to determine the technologies to be tested. In some cases the company may rent or purchase the technologies from a vendor. And one or more vendors (e.g., equipment and chemical suppliers) may need to actively participate.

Minnesota-Fiberglass Fiber Reinforced Plastics/Painting & Coating

The Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) has initiated the early stages of the technology diffusion process in two industry areas: fiberglass reinforced plastics (FRP) and painting/coating.

The success of this FRP Demo Days and previous Paint Expos prompted MnTAP to begin plans for a 5th Annual Paint and Powder Coating Expo in September 2002. Pollution prevention technologies had been identified the previous year at the Coating 2001 Conference, and included quick color change powder, electrostatic liquid spray, and UV curing. MnTAP was active on the board of the Minnesota Chapter of the Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI), and used that group (comprised of vendors and applicators) as the opinion leader group. While planning for the Paint Expo, vendors and companies were recruited as mentors. Since there were no installations in Minnesota of the three to four technologies, MnTAP believed a Paint Expo where vendors could demonstrate the technologies would be the best way to reach the greatest number of people. The Paint Expo was held October 2002, with 400 attendees, vendors and speakers. The Expo featured 50 exhibits/demos and 15 technical seminars. MNTAP continues to work with mentor companies and vendors to provide demonstrations to business customers and conduct pilots at companies, toward eventual adoption of the technology.

Table 2: MnTAP Technology Diffusion Work Conducted to Date

ADOP2T Model Sector: Painting and Coating Sector: Fiberglass Fiber Reinforced Plastics

Identify Pollution Prevention Technologies and Best Practices

Identify Opinion Leaders

Recruit Mentors

Establish Demonstration Sites

Provide Demos to Business Customers

Conduct Pilots at Companies

Technology Adoption

Quick color change powder, Electrostatic liquid spray(coating conference / staff knowledge)

Chemical Coaters Association (CCA)

Vendors & Companies

Paint and Powder Coating Expo

Closed mold, non-atomized spray(FRP Conference / staff knowledge)

Vendors / Composite Fabricators Association (CFA)

Vendors & Phoenix / Consultant

FRP Demo Days

Regional Technology Diffusion Efforts

A technology diffusion initiative has been developed by technical assistance providers in three states (Illinois, Kentucky and Minnesota) to implement the ADOP2T approach to promoting the use of innovative pollution prevention technologies. Using federal funding provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) office of Research and Development, these three programs share sector-specific expertise developed in one program but needed by companies in other states. The primary goal of this initiative is to document barriers to implementation of innovative P2 technologies and to document how those barriers were overcome.

Implementation of the regional network provides an effective pilot trial of the regional technology diffusion concept. It enables participating states to build expertise with key technologies and with technical assistance skills in sectors where they are most needed. Additionally, it enables these states to build partnerships to share capabilities and resources. It is anticipated that this program will give decision-makers at the federal level the justification they need to develop a more comprehensive National P2 technology diffusion system.

The ADOP2T approach addresses many of the standard deficiencies that are common in P2 technical assistance projects. It includes a sequential process of identifying practices in use at companies, identifying their P2 technology needs and interests, and executing brief demonstrations and extended pilot trials of the P2 practices. This will provide the kind of practical site-specific information needed to influence facility decisions to adopt P2 as a standard operating practice. Connecting the technology developers with the end users who are trying to solve real-world problems will likely prove to be one of the most important aspects of this initiative.


The Topic Hub™ is a product of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx)

The Technology Diffusion Topic Hub™ was developed by:

Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
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Hub Last Updated: 12/9/2010