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Shaw To Develop Environmentally Friendly Gasification Facility

Shaw Industries Inc ., Dalton, Ga., in cooperation with Siemens Building Technologies, Switzerland, has moved forward with plans to build a gasification facility to convert its manufacturing by-products into steam energy. Shaw expects the facility will be fully operational by the end of 2005.

According to the company, carpet waste is baled and then ground in order to separate the fiber from the filler. The fiber then is used in the gasification process.

By converting an estimated 16,000 tons of such by-products as post-industrial and post-consumer carpet waste, and 6,000 tons of wood flour, the facility will create steam to power the company's Springdale carpet plant, located in Dalton. The conversion will reduce landfill use, harmful emissions such as sulfur dioxide, and energy costs. Shaw estimates the company will save up to $2.5 million per year at Springdale. The operation a transitional strategy in the company's cradle-to-cradle commitment to the future is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

"It is Shaw's hope that sustainable technologies will make future carpet wastes ideal for closed-loop recycling into carpet or other products too valuable to burn," said Steve Bradfield, director, corporate environmental affairs.

Shaw also is researching ways it can use leftover waste by-products including recovered post-consumer filler and ash that result from the gasification process.

November 2004