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topic 7168

Copper Plating Industry Wastewater Capacities and Copper Concentrations


I am interested in acquiring some initial information for the design of a copper removal and recovery system. I need to know approximate copper plating industry wastewater capacities in order to size the system and approximate copper concentration in those wastewater streams.

Thank You

Simon Amm, 4th year Chemical Engineering Student
University of Waterloo - Waterloo, Ontario, Canada


It's not really possible to give you numbers because waste volume could very easily range from one drum (55 gallons) of wastewater per week to over a drum per minute. And the concentration could range from plating bath strength of say 25 g/l, down to 0.16 mg/l (the new U.S. MP&M discharge standard).

You would be better off finding one printed circuit board shop in your area, and using that as the basis for your design, than trying to determine a mean or average size. But if you want a typical interesting size, do 5,000 gallons per day of wastewater containing 10 mg/l.

I'll bet that your conclusion is going to be that you can't practically get to 0.16 mg/l from 25 g/l with one system or one type of technology though.

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

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