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ENVIRONMENTAL BURDEN OF ACID AND CAUSTIC PRODUCTION



At Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), we are working with our 
Microelectronics Development Laboratory, to reduce their water consumption 
and waste production. (This is a joint effort between the P2 and water 
conservation groups at SNL). One of the opportunities we are investigating 
is replacing the cation and anion resins (used to produce the ultra-pure 
water they require) with an Electro Deionization (EDI) process. EDI is a 
combination of ion exchange and electro dialysis technologies, in which 
cations and anions are continuously separated and removed from the water. 
It eliminates the need to regenerate the resins with concentrated acid or 
base (50%) solutions. This is currently done on-site, so replacement with 
EDI would also eliminate a sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid storage 
tank, associated piping and controls and safety hazards. The cost savings, 
based on water, wastewater, chemicals and reduced labor, however, are 
modest. (P/B ~ 5 years). We are in process of quantifying ancillary 
benefits (i.e. safety, TRI reporting requirement).
We would also like to consider global life-cycle impacts of eliminating 
sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid use to justify the project. Does 
anyone have information on the environmental burden (and cost, if possible) 
of producing sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid (water use, energy use, 
waste production, air emissions, etc.) ?

Thanks,

Jack Mizner 
SNL Pollution Prevention 
(505) 845-3576 
jhmizne@sandia.gov