Insights from BCC Research

New Chemical Reagent Removes Heavy Metal Toxins From Landfill Sludge

Posted by Clayton Luz on Mar 20, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Industrial processes that leave behind toxic heavy metals in wastewater can be a significant environmental hazard. Heavy metals are often discharged by metal plating, metal cleaning and fabrication, battery manufacturing, chemical manufacturing, paint and pigment, and other industries. The treatment and removal of heavy metals have drawn scrutiny because of their association with various health problems.

The chemical processes that remove heavy metals from water leave behind sludge that can damage the environment. Currently, specialty landfills are the best disposal option for sludge, but the option leaves the environment vulnerable to remigration of toxic metals from the sludge.
But one Midwest company has recently launched a patented chemical reagent it claims not only removes but also permanently encapsulates toxic heavy metals in wastewater, rendering a sludge that is non-hazardous to the landfill environment.
According to Kansas-based Synlite Water Technology, its eponymous product “Synlite” can be used as a standalone product or added to other products. The product’s hydroxyl components raise the pH of solution for precipitation of metals while the zeolite material remove metals by adsorption, ion exchange and physically trapping ions within the lattice structure.
The non-hazardous sludge passes EPA 1311 TLCP, or Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure. A designation of the Environmental Protection Agency, 1311 TCLP is the testing methodology that determines if a waste is characteristically hazardous. The procedure uses a soil sample extraction method for chemical analysis employed as an analytical method to simulate leaching through a landfill. 
The company says that in most cases, Synlite can be directly substituted for chemicals in already established systems. Even hydrated lime, currently the low-cost hydroxide precipitant, can be substituted when factoring in disposal costs. Synlite, which combines resins with zeolites, is more than six times stronger in ion-exchange capacity than conventional precipitants, SWT claims.
Compared to conventional products, Synlite is said to offer a higher load capacity and shorter reaction time. Its filter cake, which is drier and less sticky than comparators, facilitates filter cleaning and significantly reduces overall treatment time.
The chemical reagent product consists of a basic mix tank and liquid/solid separation such as filter press or clarifier.
BCC Research estimates the global flocculants market will reach $6.8 billion by 2021 from $5.0 billion in 2016 at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.2%.

Topics: Advanced Materials