CP in surface finishing industry

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In surface finishing industry a wide range of chemicals are used which are considered to be hazardous to human and the environment. Like in many other industry sectors the chemicals do not always end up in the product being produced. The generated waste is furthermore considered to be toxic and ranges from volatile organics, acid/alkali fumes, hexavalent, chrome, nickel, wastewater containing metal/cyanide, sludge with high metal contents, oil/grease, paint residue etc. Generally it is tried to treat these chemicals and to dispose off via wastewater treatment facilities, but sometimes they release to the environment.

In relation to the economy the most important fact is that generated waste implies profit losses which are caused by poor plant operations. This result in return in a wastage of raw material and the treatment of the waste material in wastewater treatment plant in more costs.

The implementation of CP strategies in metal finishing processes can reduce or eliminate these factors. By comparison a plant without the application of CP operations registers

  • the loss of toxic chemicals
  • higher financial implications
  • a higher risk for the environment
  • reduced quality of the products and
  • releases to the environment which could be avoided.

Source: Telukdarie A., Buckley C. , Koefoed M.: The importance of assessment tools in promoting cleaner production in the metal finishing industry, published in the Journal of Cleaner Production Vol. 14, 2006

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