In order to be a truly self-sustaining, manufacturing plant, your plant will need to find resources that allow it to do one of two things:
- Recycle the waste it produces and turn it into useful fuel and renewable energy, or
- Build and utilize a waste processing plant on site
Additionally, any oil your plant uses for fuel or to lubricate the machinery needs to be contained on site, recycled on site and/or processed on site. The following are the special considerations for sections of your self-sustaining plant and the possible ways in which to execute them.
Oil and Fuel: Storage and Containment
Oil and fuel of any kind has the potential to be highly explosive. When considering how and where to store these necessary elements for your plant, you can choose to:
- Store oil and fuel above ground in several large tanks
- Store oil and fuel below ground so that you do not have such large "targets" out in the open air
Underground tanks differ from those above ground in that they require a lot more internal protection to keep the oil and fuel from seeping through the tanks and into the underground water table. Tanks above ground can be larger and are easier to monitor for leaks. However, if something should go wrong in your plant (e.g., a fire), these above-ground tanks could potentially become enormous bombs. Installing emergency shut-off valves and fire containment systems will help keep your plant safe should you choose above ground tanks.
Oil and Fuel: Recycling vs. Processing and Disposal
If you build an onsite recycling plant, you can recycle the oil and fuel your plant uses and channel it back into the plant for reuse. You may also build an onsite processing and disposal plant. If you choose to build an onsite processing and disposal plant, then you must give up some of your plant's self-sustaining ability to another company. The other company will collect your processed, used oil and fuel and dispose of it for you.
If you have the money and the ability to do so, you may try completely organic oil and an organic fuel for your plant. Organic oils and fuels taken from plants are easily recycled. When processed for disposal, there is less of a chance that their disposal could contaminate the environment. That means that your plant could also dispose of the waste in a holding pond or tank. (Just be sure to check with the EPA before you begin construction on holding ponds or tanks to avoid any legal issues).
Contact a local outlet, such as http://www.smallandsonsoil.com, for further assistance.