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Re: INFOTERRA: HCl + H2SO4 pickle liquors waste mgmt with zero

I'm concerned about the use of potentially 
contaminated wastes as fertilizers, as described 
in the attached message.   

A recent series of articles in the Seattle Times 
documented several abuses of this practice.

Apparently, fertlizers are barely regulated in 
terms of quality.   Other than the N-P-K nutrient 
requirements or other active ingredients, little 
is tested.   The "inert" ingredients or fillers 
can be virtually anything, even containing 
contaminated wastes.    Government oversight, 
sampling and quality control is almost 

EPA has just established a new working group to 
investigate the issue of potential fertilizer 

Specifically, what are all the chemical 
constituents and concentrations in used metal 
pickling liquors?    Does anyone on this list know?

Date:          Fri, 29 Aug 1997 06:43:53 +0800
To:            p2tech@great-lakes.net
From:          Burt Hamner & Annette Ghee <hamnghee@MOZCOM.COM>
Subject:       INFOTERRA: HCl + H2SO4 pickle liquors waste mgmt with zero
               discharge requirement
Cc:            alfernan@uniandes.edu.co
Reply-to:      p2tech@great-lakes.net

P2 Techers:  I am forwarding to you this request that was sent to the
Infoterra listserv, along with my response, in case any one has some
additional info they would like to pass on to the original sender.

>Date: Thu, 28 Aug 1997 15:02:58 -0500
>From: Alejandro Fernandez <alfernan@uniandes.edu.co>
>Organization: Universidad de los Andes
>To: infoterra@cedar.univie.ac.at
>Subject: INFOTERRA: HCl + H2SO4 pickle liquors waste mgmt with zero
discharge requirement
>Sender: owner-infoterra@cedar.univie.ac.at
>Reply-To: Alejandro Fernandez <alfernan@uniandes.edu.co>
>Content-Length: 920
>Can someone help me? I am interested in options for management
>(treatment, recovery) of pickling liquors wastes from wire
>manufacturing. The tricky part is that a "zero-discharge" condition must
>be contemplated in the analysis. A volume of up to 120 m3 must be
>managed, 50% from HCl pickling liquor and 50% H2SO4 pickling liquor
>(waste stream separation has not been implemented yet but is being
>considered for the near future).
>Hydrolisis for HCl and Fe oxide recovery appers to be financially out of
>I would greatly appreciate any information that may assist to address
>this challenge. Please send responses directly to sender. Thank you in
>Alejandro Fernandez, PE, QEP, CHMM
>e-mail: alfernan@uniandes.edu.co

Mr. Fernandez:  
Several years ago I helped a company in Seattle prepare a pollution
prevention and they had the same problem as you, and a very interesting
solution.  The Davis Wire Company had to dispose of high volumes of acid
from wire pickling.  Previously they had been neutralizing it for sewer
disposal.  However they found out that sulfuric acid is a primary ingredient
of certain kinds of fertilizer, and iron contamination of the fertilizer is
not a problem since the stuff is applied to the soil from whence comes the
minerals anyway.  So they purchased a small fertilizer production facility
and put it at the end of the pickling liquor drain, and they sell the
fertilizer they make to farmers in Eastern Washington.  Their engineer told
me they seem to make more profits from fertilizer sales than from wire sales
and he was wondering what industry he was in!  Hope this inspires some
creative thinking for your clients.

Burt Hamner
Asian Institute of Management

Rebecca Leighton Katers
Clean Water Action Council of N.E. Wisconsin
2220 Deckner Avenue
Green Bay, WI 54302
Phone:  414-468-4243
Fax:  414-468-1234
E-mail:  cwac@execpc.com