EnvironOxide™ Pigments are used in making three of DANIEL SMITH EXTRA FINE WATERCOLORS. They are: Enviro-Friendly Yellow Iron Oxide, Enviro-Friendly Red Iron Oxide & Enviro-Friendly Brown Iron Oxide and here is how they are recovered.
EnvironOxide™ Pigments are made from iron oxide recovered from abandoned mine drainage via a waste-free process. These pigments are readily interchangeable with other iron oxide pigments, which must otherwise be mined or produced synthetically and offer the added benefit of being the result of an environmental restoration effort.
As its name implies, Iron Oxide Recovery removes iron oxide that is recovered at passive treatment systems of abandoned mine discharge sites. The company then sells the material to Hoover Color Corp., a pigment manufacturer in Hiwassee, Va. After the raw material is processed there into a burnt-sienna powdery pigmentation, Hoover sells the milled product to paint companies, stain manufacturers and concrete companies, among others.
Dr. Hedin calls the colorful but polluted residual that result from the country's coal mining heritage a "problem of misplaced pigment." Addressing this problem, however, has created a unique business opportunity for the Mount Lebanon company Mr. Hedin created in 2001.
Iron Oxide has shipped over 2.5 million pounds of its "EnvironOxide" product that it recovered from a site in Lowber, Westmoreland County, to Hoover, its only customer. In 1998, Dr. Hedin took a new approach: Identify an existing deposit of iron sludge, turn it into a product, and find a customer for that product. Hoover Color, which specializes in earth-tone pigments used extensively in wood stains, paint and concrete, uses EnvironOxide as a raw material in its products that are sold around the world.