Chromium Plating Bath Contamination

Question: We recently had to dump a fairly large volume of hexavalent chromium plating solution because it was contaminated with a high level of zinc and other heavy metals.


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Question:

We recently had to dump a fairly large volume of hexavalent chromium plating solution because it was contaminated with a high level of zinc and other heavy metals. The cost of handling the waste treatment and disposal of this bath was extremely high. Is there a better way to handle this? J.A.

Answer:

In today's finishing environment dumping of a plating bath should be the last resort. In the case of a chromium plating bath there are two methods that should be considered for purification of the bath: electrodialysis and ion exchange. The equipment for these processes is readily available and reliable. Vendors are listed in the Suppliers database or in the 2001 Products Finishing Directory and Technology Guide, 800-950-8020, under Pollution-Control Equipment, water: electrodialysis and ion exchange.

Like any other good business decision, you should compare the cost of purification of the spent plating bath to that of waste treatment and disposal before making your decision to purchase equipment.

 

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