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topic 3804

Caustic recovery from aluminum cleaning process


I'm writing to see if anyone has experience with recovery of caustic solutions used to clean dies from the aluminum extrusion process. It seems that chemical/physical treatment prior to sewer discharge is the most common handling method. I have a few specific questions:

What chemicals are typically used in the treatment process?

Has anyone looked at treatment of the caustic solution w/ ultrafiltration, RO, electrodialysis, or ion exchange?

Judy Adler
- Georgia


In my business I do acid chloride zinc I use inhibitors in my hydrochloric acid pickle. Could these inhibitors have an effect on the pH in my waste treatment system. I have seen the pH fluctuate from 10 1/2 to 7. if the inhibitors do cause a problem how can I treat them so they don't affect the pH?

Gary Follmar
- Houston, Texas



We are a institute of environment research in Republic of Korea. We have developed the new mass-production process of organic acids by continuous fermentation equipped with cell-recycling system, and evaluated the productivity of organic acids using organic by-products as raw feedstocks.

The economically competitive process can be achieved by recovery of amount of caustic soda in waste water from organic acid fermentation, so we are now looking for some new technology and further information for the separation and the recovery of caustic soda.

Pil-Ki Hwang, Ph.D. student,
Kwandnong Univ. - Republic of Korea


I am interested in hearing of caustic recovery using membranes. I am currently working in this field and already have results. I would like cost estimates of full scale membrane installations. Suppliers welcome as well.

Sugen Chetty
- Durban, South Africa


At the company that I am working, they are using the evaporation plant to concentrate the product and its very costly. I have heard about the caustic recovery using membranes. I would like to certain information concerning the functioning of this system. In addition to that, I would like to get an idea of its cost estimates of full scale membrane installation.

Natacha leung hong kwai
textile mill - Mauritius


Dear Sir,

It is possible to the following operation with ceramic membranes for caustic recovery. Caustic solution can be filtered with 0.14 micron or 300KD membranes clearing all suspended solids, particles, microorganism etc. It is NOT possible to concentrate caustic with membranes to our knowledge.

Do let us know if you need any further clarifications.

Best Regards,

Hiren Shah
- Mumbai, MH, India

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