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A zero discharge process for the treatment of electroplating waste waters


Disposal of metal finishing wastes is one of the most critical industrial waste problems today. Interest in the development of possible methods for reclaiming metals from plating waste streams is increasing. This is due to the higher costs of treatment and landfill disposal sites to handle the potentially hazardous metal sludges. Recovery systems are not yet the answer to all problems in electroplating operation. However, they should be the first ones to be considered in new installations and even as potential replacement for existing destructive systems. The goal of this project is to build and operate a demonstration plant to treat the rinse waters produced by the electroplating industry by means of selected membrane processes, obtaining pure water which will be recycled to the process and a blend of metal concentrate. Several membrane techniques will be researched in order to select the most adequate one, or the most adequate combination (reverse osmosis, electrodialysis, and electrochemical ion exchange). If this initial project is successful, modules similar to the membrane demonstration plant will be installed in as many electroplating facilities as possible, to treat the rinse water, recycle the water, and obtain metal concentrates (which will be treated in a central hydrometallurgical plant).

Funding Scheme

EAW - Exploratory awards


Lonasa SA
28320 Madrid