Waste Disposal

One of the advantages in using emulsion cleaners is that they can be reused many times. However, when it is time to change solutions, disposal of spent emulsions is a problem. Most emulsions have an organic/oil base, and most local water authorities have reduced the acceptable concentration of oil permitted for sewer discharge well below 100 ppm.

Concentrated emulsions should be removed by an authorized hazardous waste hauler and incinerated in a fuels blending program. Most emulsified solutions separate when cooled, given enough settling time. The oils can be skimmed off, and the emulsion concentrate will float on the water so that it can be separated. The water portion may be neutralized and the particles filtered out. This may be able to be discharged into the sewer after checking with local authorities. If that is not permitted, it could perhaps be processed with an ultrafilter, depending on the particular emulsion and contaminants. In some areas, the water may be evaporated off to concentrate the volume for proper disposal.

Information on emulsion cleaning of specific metals and alloys can be found in the Sections "Surface Engineering of Irons and Steels" and "Surface Engineering of Nonferrous Metals" in this Volume.

Molten Salt Bath Cleaning

James C. Malloy, Kolene Corporation

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