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The Treatment of Spent Cleaners

December 12, 2014

If your application is using a cleaning solution, once the solution is ‘spent’ [dirty and consumed], you have choices; ship the solution off site for disposal, slowly bleed this solution into your existing waste treatment flow, or batch treat the spent solution.

FIRST LET'S BREAKDOWN THE BASICS OF CLEANING SOLUTIONS: 

Most chemistries used in aqueous cleaning fit into one of three categories according to pH. Acid – Neutral – Alkaline.

Neutral cleaners, the mildest of cleaners, are preferred when soils are light.

Alkaline Cleaners are the most commonly used cleaners for removing oils, greases, and general soils. There are numerous chemistries available depending on the type and degree of contamination, the material to be cleaned, the type of cleaning equipment used, and the subsequent use of the cleaned material.

Acidic Cleaners are primarily used to remove tarnish and oxides and to brighten non-ferrous metals. Although limited cleaning of organic soils (such as oils) is possible with some acidic chemistries, they are rarely used for general cleaning. It is not unusual, however, to use an acidic chemistry to brighten work previously processed with an alkaline cleaner and a rinse.

The waste treatment of metal cleaning compounds varies greatly based upon the type of cleaner being treated and the concentration thereof. In all cases, the ‘spent cleaner solution’ must be neutralized from highly alkaline or acidic conditions. This process ‘cracks’ waste surfactants and wetting agents, thereby making them more amenable to wastewater treatment.

COVENTYA WATERCARE CAN PROVIDE A TREATMENT SOLUTION TO YOUR 'SPENT CLEANERS.' 

The OMEGA line will most commonly utilize the following products (jar tests from the lab will confirm the best choice for your application). You can submit a sample to our laboratory for testing along with a survey form of all operating information.

THE TREATMENT PROCESS WILL TYPICALLY LOOK LIKE THIS: 
  1. The ‘coagulant’ will be added to the pH adjustment / neutralization tank
  2. A pH adjustment to a level of 8 to 10 units it typical (sodium hydroxide or acid are used)
  3. An anionic polymer (OMEGA AP-2140 / OMEGA AP-2040 / OMEGA AP-2210) is added for solids agglomeration (called flocculation). The neutralized larger sized particles are then settled in a batch treatment tank or in a flow through clarifier based treatment system.

Stop spending money on shipping waste cleaners off-site for disposal; you can minimize the waste by treating these solutions yourself!

IF YOUR EXISTING CLEANER TREATMENT METHODS ARE COSTLY AND LABOR INTENSIVE, WHY NOT INVESTIGATE COVENTYA WATERCARE AS AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH? 
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