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NYS Governor's Awards for Pollution Prevention - Eastman Kodak

Eastman Kodak Company, Kodak Park Facility, Rochester, New York


The Kodak Park facility, with approximately 22,000 employees, is a large, integrated manufacturing plant producing photographic films, papers and processing chemicals. Pollution prevention has been particularly challenging for the Synthetic Chemicals Division (SCD) which produces many of the chemicals used in the manufacture of those photographic products.

The pollution prevention program initiated by SCD systematically drives for source reduction through process redesign, increased recovery of solvents and decreased dependency on solvents in cleaning operations. Each process is analyzed for the amount of waste generated per unit of product produced. This data is then used to set annual goals for the reduction of process waste.

Methodologies and Procedures

A multidisciplinary process improvement team consisting of development, analytical and process chemists and production operators completed a three-year effort that resulted in significant reductions in the amount of hazardous waste generated and chemicals released to the environment from the manufacture of a chemical hardener for photographic films and papers.

The prior manufacturing procedure, which had existed for a number of years, involved the purification of the hardener through the use of acetone, then isolating it from a toluene mixture as a dusty powder. This manufacturing process resulted in the generation of large volumes of hazardous waste and high levels of air emissions.

A new procedure was developed over several years which eliminated the use of toluene and isolated the hardener as a melt. As a result of this improvement effort, the yield of the process was increased from approximately 75 percent to 97 percent. As well as being a more efficient process, product quality is maintained and it is more manufacturable.

The new process also greatly reduced the potential for operator exposure to a skin and lung irritant, not only in SCD but also at all of the sites using this particular hardener within the company.

The process also reduced air emissions of toluene, especially from the drying step, and there was a significant reduction in the hazardous waste from this process because of the elimination of the spent toluene waste streams.


Air emissions of toluene were eliminated, resulting in an annual reduction of 100,000 pounds.

Annual disposal cost savings of $134,000 were also realized from the elimination of 1,000,000 pounds of incinerated waste that used to be generated in the crystallization step.

Annual purchased solvent cost savings of $246,000 were realized from the elimination of the crystallization step.

The unit cost to manufacture this hardener was improved by 20 percent.

Potential for worker exposure to skin and lung irritant has been greatly reduced.

Any comments or questions?
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518-402-9469 (phone); 518-402-9168 (fax)

This page was last modified March 8, 1999

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