|Hercules Chemical Plant||Louisiana, MO|
|Coming up to the Hercules Plant,
whether by boat or by car, it looks like the worst of industry. An old
coal fired power plant
in the center of the property, smoke stacks, pipes, and a weird smell roll
outward from the plant. What we found as we toured the plant and
talked with our hosts was that Hercules works hard on behalf of the
environment. We also learned that only some of the buildings seen from the
road are part of Hercules, the rest are part of the Dyno-Nobel
explosives-catalyst plant we were unable to visit.
"Do we pollute, sure we pollute," says Steve Hamilton, Technical Manager for Hercules. "But let me tell you what we've done and what we're trying to do." Steve and his colleague, Kelly Peters, Environmental engineer hosted our Saturday morning visit to the Hercules Chemical Plant, just south of Louisiana, MO. They took us on a driving tour of the plant facilities and answered our questions about plant operations, pollution, and environmental practices for several hours. We learned about energy recovery, zebra mussel abatement, and water discharge from the plant.
ENERGY RECOVERY: The worst source of pollution on the premises was the World War II era coal fired power plant. Mr. Hamilton has been working to replace this old plant with a new trash-to-energy heat source for the production of steam. Of course, the chief impediment to making this, or any, conversion is the economy.
We left very impressed with the energy, commitment and environmental concern Steve, Kelly, and the Hercules Corporation bring to the work they do.
Wyatt Meyers, 14, served as boat guard and town ambassador during our visit. Though the boats were safe under Wyatt's watchful eye, unfortunately he did not catch any fish. His earnings will go toward a set of truck tires.
Group shot before moving on.