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Recycling of Grinding Swarf -Reply



The State of Illinois EPA is working with a firm (Solvent Systems) that is
currently developing a method to recycle swarf (metal fines from metal
grinding and cutting operations). Solvent Systems became interested in
finding a way to recycle swarf after becoming acquainted with an IEPA
summer intern who was working with us in researching your very
question.  I know of no current legitimate recycling of this waste stream
outside of the precious metal swarfs such as brass and aluminum, etc.

The goal is to "bind" the swarf such that it melts rather than combust
when re-introduced to the smelter furnaces.  Solvent Systems  has
received some research from the DOE Argonne National Lab to develop
a binder and mixing process to form  swarf briquets. Solvent Systems
has some sample briquets which have been given a value which
appears to make the process economically viable.   Argonne is very
interested in moving this research forward within its system and is in the
process of seeking additional funding from DOE.  Illinois and Wisconsin
industry have recognized the potential for this technology development
and have committed some cash and in kind research assistance. The
binding process is a cold process.

The research has been expanded to include foundry sand  and fly ash. 
This is also exciting.  It is estimated that over 80 million T of fly ash is
created annually.  Foundry sand is estimated at 8-10 million T. Same
binder material is used for these as the swarf.  The sample molds of fly
ash, sand, and binder look like granite!

Point of contact at Solvents Systems is Steve Rundell - 847/234-7500 
                                                                ext. 18
I can be contacted at epa8616@epa.state.il.us
                                   708/338-7863
Hopes this helps.
Jim Janssen - State of Illinois EPA Office of Pollution Prevention