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CDC is not responsible for Section compliance accessibility on other federal or private website. Cancel Continue. Transportation and Energy. Hofstra University, Department of Energy,. United States. August 13, Learning about the waste production and consumption processes of the modern crayon has changed my perspective on such a common and simple product. The use of colors for artistic expression has existed since the early ages of mankind, and only in the last few centuries has the familiar synthetic paraffin cylinder been set into mold.
As a student of biochemistry, learning about the reactions and ingredients used to make a crayon was interesting, and I enjoyed learning about it. Honestly though, my preconceptions that this research would be simple were proven wrong. Tracing the product design process backwards to how the materials are gathered makes a basic drawing utensil seem complex. Also, the fact that crayons are so common restricted the sources to robust design blueprints and small facts, which had to be analyzed and put together into a bigger picture.
I refer to this process as a dissection of three bodies: the Crayola industry, the consumers, and the crayon itself. I believe that the information I have put together will suffice in explaining the waste process of crayons and its relation to materials and energy.
At first, I thought that making a crayon was something simple as putting coloring and wax into a mold, however I found out there is a whole chemical industrial process behind it.
The key ingredients for making crayons are paraffin and powder color pigments. These materials are usually extracted from crude oil, wood, coal, and shale raw materials, and processed in the factory.
At a rate of crayons per single molding machine in the factory and a colossal figure of 12 million crayons created, packed, and shipped per day, one can only imagine the emissions and waste products of this activity Chavez. However, because the Crayola Company is extremely secretive about everything from their ingredients to processes, it was difficult to find statistics on the yield of waste during daily factory activities.
Therefore, I found some details on generic methods such as the fact that the energy input of extraction compared to energy availability in conventional crude oil is However, after this is accounted for, there is the extraction and modification of paraffin wax from crude oil, called "wax sweating" and the locating of natural and synthetic dry pigment.
In all, the gathering and shipping of resources and daily factory molding, paper wrapping, packaging and shipping activities combines to hundreds of thousands of mega joules of energy, which is at least a thousand gallons of gasoline and.
Taking a step back, however, one must realize that the extraction of paraffin from crude oil is only part of the refining process for making the world's useful forms of oil.
In fact, while refining oil, producers consistently have problems with wax crystals creating a "natural choke" in tubing used to extract oil from the ground Glanfield, Jr. This material is essentially paraffin wax. Therefore, actions such as Crayola's "green initiative" has much action behind it, and the waste of this particular company's factories are emitting less waste than expected or at least having a low net waste statistic.
Before analyzing the recycling efforts however, one must account for the consumer part of the waste equation of crayons. Growing up, most Americans remember that strong and familiar scent of the crayon box.
In fact, the Crayola crayon is "number 18 of the 20 most recognizable scents to American adults" Py-Lieberman. But has anyone ever thought about what happened of those slightly used crayons that no one wanted to draw with or sharpen? Imagine how many tons, or thousands of tons of crayons should be thrown away every year since Binney and Smith Crayola Company, which started in the late 's. The National Crayon Recycling Program in boasts that they have saved pounds of used crayons and makes them into new crayons National Crayon Recycling Program.
As there seems to be a united effort to reuse and recycle crayons, one must question the negative effects of a crayon that has been dumped into landfills or in someone's backyard. Therefore, as paraffin is the key ingredient of a crayon, its properties must be analyzed in order for one to evaluate whether or not there is potential for sustainability or further usage of an unwanted crayon.
The paraffin type in crayons is pure paraffin wax combined with extremely elastic ethylene vinyl acetate, and this form can also be turned into various other products including hot glue sticks and candles ChemBell.
These chemicals, to the lay audience would seem suspicious, but in simple terms, all a crayon consists of is dry pigment coloring, oily stearic acid, elastic polyethylene to take the place of ethylene vinyl acetate, and of course, the paraffin wax Brinkman. If one looks closely, the single thing in common between all of these ingredients is that they are all organic compounds, meaning they contain carbon. Therefore, since they are organic, they have the ability to be broken down in nature easier than non-organic materials.
Especially in crayons, however, which are purified for the protection of their young audiences is both safe for the environment, but also a specimen almost meant for transformation and recycling projects. Crayons, having the properties of being non-toxic and even edible because of a purified paraffin wax and natural pigment complex, are very sustainable if there is some effort put into the process of gathering consumer waste.
So, instead of throwing away these colorful cylinders, many small organizations and the Crayola Company itself, and grade schools all over the United States are taking the initiatives to recycle crayons. As there was many crayon companies to choose from, including Rose Art and countless generic brands, I chose the most familiar and largest tycoon, Crayola, to be the focal point of my average crayon waste analysis.
Two business entrepreneurs created Crayola, formerly known as Binney Smith Company after the names of its founders, in This is appropriate as one of the Company's main factories is located in Easton City, Pennsylvania. There is even a famous American tour here of the factory which shows parts of how crayons are molded. Although Crayola is very secretive in what ingredients they put into their wax molds, they are not at all quiet about how much they care about the wellbeing of society and the environment.
In , as part of this plan, Crayola began "Color Cycle," which was a partnership of Crayola with grade schools that pays for the shipment of used crayons and the spread of environmental awareness Crayola. The program takes used markers and crayons from schools and converts them into clean burning fuels. This makes sense as the key ingredients are complex organic oils.63 Crayons Spoils For Survivors lyrics & video: It's oh so quiet nowjoy has returned the war is over baby it's all been burned there's no need for money now there's nothing to.