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topic 0672

Emission factors for open top plating tanks


This is a request for some sources of emission factors for open top tank bath process plating.

We are a major emission source per Title V of the Clean Air Act Amendment. This requires that authoritative calculations be used for the plating emissions. EPA document AP-42 only covers chrome plating emission factors. We do batch plating of : gold, silver, chrome, copper, zinc, nickel (electroplate and electroless), and cadmium. None of these areas have any published factors. Inquires to the EPA have not produced any results. I look forward to hearing from other people with the same problem, and hopefully some solutions.

John Stankiewicz

You are certainly right that with the exception of chrome there seems to be a paucity of data. The only two sources I have ever found were:

- NIOSH Technical Report 85-102, "Control Technology Assessment: Metal Plating and Cleaning Operations", and

- An article by W.E. Powers in Plating & Surface Finishing, July 86, entitled "Air Pollution Control of Plating Shop Processes".

I don't know which technique is worse: relying on such spotty industry data, or testing your tanks yourself and extrapolating a curve from a one point measurement. smiley

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey


Have you looked at the series of EPA publications called "Locating and Estimating Air Emissions From Sources of ... ?" The one for cadmium does not give emission factors, but some of the others in the series may have them. I suggest that you contact Anne Pope of the EPA.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District recently had a contractor prepare an industrywide air toxics emission inventory for miscellaneous metal platers (i.e., other than chrome platers). The contact for that study is Wayne Barcikowski. He may have some information on emission factors.

Michael Rogozen
environmental services


Dear Sirs!

Do You recommend to install air pollution control system (scrubbers) in the case of Electroless nickel plating? WHAT ARE THE REGULATIONS?

Thank You for Your answer,

Your Sincerely,

Michael Sandigursky, Manager
- Beer-Sheva, Israel


Sorry, the regulations vary by locale, Michael. Here is the U.S., it is mostly determined by the individual 50 states. In Israel, I'm sure it's different. But most EN solutions have a strong ammonia smell, so fume scrubbing is a good idea.

Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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