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Neon Environmental Information

Neon, and the Belvidere Assembly Plant where it is produced, continue Chrysler's commitment to setting the standard for environmental excellence.

Pollution prevention was incorporated into Neon's planning process. It was factored into decisions about the product, raw materials, distribution and manufacturing processes. The success of this proactive planning process has increased the awareness of its benefits in other platforms.

The environmental accomplishments of Neon and the Belvidere plant are a combination of continuing past pollution prevention efforts and incorporating new ones.

On-the-vehicle recycling

Recycling efforts on Neon are one area where considerable new ground has been achieved, said Susan Yester, Chrysler manager of vehicle recycling programs. "Plastics pose one of the most significant challenges in vehicle recycling," Yester explained. "We've attempted to address this in the Neon by labeling as many components as possible for recycling with SAE designations, and to design plastic components to increase their recyclability. This can include how the plastic parts are designed for disassembly when the vehicle is ready for scrapping, or engineering the components with as few plastic compounds as possible which may impede the recycling process. Examples of these include use of plastics which may not be shredded together, or other assembly pieces which may make disassembly difficult, such as plastic and metal combinations in components."

Yester also said that the Neon will use more components made from recycled materials than any other Chrysler product to date. In all, the Neon will hove recycled materials in more than 30 major assemblies or components.

"The ultimate goal is to recycle waste and scrap materials from the plant and reuse the material in other components." Yester said. "A technical problem the industry is facing in accomplishing this is that color-molded materials contaminate the recycling process. Right now, we are able to use this process on the Neon's plastic fascias."

Other major recycling features in Neon's manufacturing and vehicle design include:

  • Sheet metal "home" scrap is recycled from the plant.
  • Plastic fascia home scrap is recycled back to the materials supplier as regrind, saving 36 tons annually in landfill waste.
  • Neon's molded-in-color instrument panel and door panels are designed to facilitate dismantling and recycling
On-car emission controls

A three-way catalytic converter provides primary control of exhaust emissions. Exhaust gases fed to the converter are produced by combustion of air and fuel maintained in stoichiometric proportions by electronic controls that use a heated oxygen sensor in the exhaust manifold.

Exhaust gas for EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) that minimizes NOx emissions produced during combustion is diverted through a passage off the #4 cylinder exhaust port to the EGR valve attached to the rear of the cylinder head. A steel tube delivers the metered exhaust flow to a thermally isolated connector at the inlet elbow of the intake manifold.

A charcoal-filled canister forward of the right front wheel collects vapor from the fuel tank to avoid releasing it to the atmosphere. A duty-cycle solenoid valve allows vapor to flow from the charcoal canister to the engine in proportion to engine mass air flow controlled by the PCM. The solenoid is rubber-isolated to reduce noise transmitted to the body.

Neon is the first Chrysler vehicle to have OBD II diagnostics, a technology-forcing requirement intended to ensure that emission control systems are functioning effectively for at least 100,000 miles (160,000 km). OBD II requires monitors for emission control systems to determine misfire, catalyst efficiency, fuel injection system operation, EGR flow, oxygen sensor heater operation and response, secondary air (aspirator) operation, and evaporative system operation. In addition, 50 sensors, switches and actuators are checked for rationality of action in addition to determining their presence or operation. Malfunctions in any of these areas turns on the CHECK ENGINE indicator light and records a diagnostic test code in the PCM memory that can be accessed via a scan tool. OBD II also requires a common data link connector for diagnosis of all on-board electronic systems and common vehicle diagnostic outputs for all required functions on all vehicles regardless of manufacturer. A generic scan tool must be able to read the required outputs. The only hardware addition needed to provide OBD II capabilities is a downstream oxygen sensor at the catalytic converter outlet which is used in monitoring catalyst efficiency. Other new functions are provided through additional diagnostic software.

Manufacturing processes

The following manufacturing processes lessen air pollution

  • The steering wheel rim is molded vinyl which requires no CFC agents.
  • Belvidere manufacturing operations are CFC-free.
  • The E-coat primer produces no VOC's because it is water-borne.
  • Water-borne base coat paint, its first Chrysler use' will reduce VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions by 500 tons per year compared to solvent-borne paint.
  • Powder hood and sill anti-chip coating produces no VOC's' eliminating 150 tons of VOC emissions associated with conventional solvent-based technology.
  • Maximum blocking capability - painting a group of vehicles the same color to minimize the use of color-change purge solvents.
  • Warm-water base coat purge replaces solvent-based material, eliminating 20 tons of VOC emissions per year.
  • Water-base wheel house and underbody sound deadener replaces solventbased material' eliminating 170 tons of VOC emissions per year.
  • Molded-in-color fascias emit no VOC's during the molding process.
  • Molded in color fascias, mirror housings, door handles, body side moldings and interior hard trim eliminate VOC emissions from painting operations.
  • The molded instrument panel is not painted and does not have foam padding or an additional outer skin, reducing emissions associated with these operations.
  • All main process waste lines, sumps and manholes are lined to prevent contamination of the soil beneath the plant.
  • An innovative paint sludge handling system reduces paint overspray sludge volume by more than 90%.
  • Energy absorbing foam used in the bumper system uses steam as the expansion agent, avoiding the need for CFC's or VOCs.
  • Topcoat paint materials hove been reformulated to remove many hazardous air pollutants identified in Clean Air Act Amendments.
  • Paint applicators are equipped with in-line point flowmeters tied into the plant's computer tracking system to monitor usage continuously, quickly alerting plant personnel when usage increases.
Waste reduction and recycling

The following waste reduction and recycling processes are associated with Neon manufacturing

  • Reusable shipping containers eliminate 956 of cardboard waste by weightÑ150-200 tons of waste that would otherwise be sent to a land fill every day.
  • The headliner silencer is recycled polyethylene terepthalate (PET) soft drink bottles.
  • Center pillar and cowl side sound deadener patches are made from reclaimed PVC plastic.
  • Plastic fascia home scrap--excess material removed from the part after molding is recycled back to the materials supplier where it is ground up and used to make other products. This diverts approximately 36 tons per year of plastic scrap from landfills.
  • Sheet metal home scraps are recycled.
  • The wastewater treatment plant is equipped with the latest ultra- filtration technology to remove, concentrate and recycle emulsified oils from the on-site stamping plant.
  • Clear coat purge and booth-cleaning solvents are collected, remanufactured and reused.
  • Powder anti-chip overspray material is recycled.
  • Expanded polypropylene energy absorbing foam used in the bumper system is recyclable and home scraps are reprocessed.
  • Molded-in-color instrument panel, floor console and interior hard trim pieces are made from easily recyclable polypropylene.
  • Molded-in-color door trim panels with easily removable fabric inserts facilitate disassembly for recycling.
  • Fascias, body side moldings, light units, coolant recovery bottle and interior trim plastic parts are coded to facilitate identification for recycling.
  • Floor silencer padding is made from reclaimed fiber.
Hazardous materials reduction

The following manufacturing processes contribute to hazardous material reduction

  • All Belvidere manufacturing processes ore free of chlorofluorocarbons, as is the Neon's air conditioning.
  • Brake linings are asbestos free.
  • Clear coat paints are lead-free.
  • Hazardous constituents have been reduced in sealing and sound deadening operations, paint priming, reduction and cleaning solvents. Consequently, fewer of the constituents will reach the atmosphere or the process wastewater that goes to Belvidere's industrial waste treatment plant.
  • Water-borne base coat paint is 97% free of the hazardous air pollutant identified in the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.
  • In most any manufacturing process, waste materials pose a significant environmental dilemma. To combat the problem of ground water contamination, Belvidere will use a state-of-the- art water treatment facility, featuring the very latest in water filtration systems. The system is able to remove, concentrate and recycle emulsified oils from the on-site stamping operations. In addition to the removal of hazardous materials from the paints, hazardous materials have been reduced in the sealing and sound deadening processes, and also in most cleaning solvents.

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