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topic 540

What to do with the Waste from sulphuric acid anodizing?


Q. Since there are tricks to every trade, I don't have a problem with showing how uneducated I am about anodizing. I have been a machinist for 12 years and seen all types of anodizing. Now that I know a small portion of the process, I must ask, "what do you do with the waste?" I assume that your tank full of sulfuric acid will not be usable forever? What about the hydrogen that is put off while anodizing? I would assume that a hood type ventilation system over your tank would exhaust the hydrogen? Thanks for your help, Allen

Allen James
- Calvert City, Kentucky


A. Allen, you pay some people to take away your waste and dispose of it in a proper and responsible manner. That's what I do (I'm a research student working in a lab' on baths where 2 liters would be big) how the chemicals are treated is something I'm interested in but so far I've not learned much except it's all specific to application. Ian

Ian Brooke
university - Glasgow, Scotland

A. Hi Allen. Users do attempt to operate their plating and anodizing systems as "equilibrium processes" which are maintained rather than disposed of. Many of the support processes like cleaning, etching, desmutting, and dyeing cannot be maintained that way, however, and do become exhausted. This is generally a matter of neutralization of acid/alkali, with consequent settling out of solids. However, anodizing facilities must be registered and disposal permits obtained. These are generally issued by the POTW serving your area.

Hydrogen evolution is generally not a serious problem, although the tiny droplets of solution that evolve from the tank along with the hydrogen, in ginger ale or champagne style, must be capyured with an exhaust system and scrubbed. Good luck.


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

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