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FUNDAMENTAL PROPERTIES OF POLLUTANTS PROVIDE THE KEY TO EFFICIENT DEVELOPMENT OF TREATMENT TECHNOLOGIES

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Abstract:

The design and operation of treatment works for industrial wastes should be based on certain fundamental properties of individual target pollutants, as well as on the chemical and/or physical mechanisms responsible for holding these pollutants in the waste stream. Fundamental properties of individual pollutants contained in an air, liquid, or solid industrial waste include electronegativity, polarity, molecular size, structure and water solubility, to name a few. Chemical and physical mechanisms responsible for holding individual pollutants within waste streams include hydration, emulsification, hydrogen bonding, chelation, and mutual repulsion of like electrostatic surface charges. These properties and mechanisms directly indicate which technologies are bonifide candidates for not only successful, but highly efficient treatment of an industrial waste stream before discharge to either the environment or to a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW). For instance, the gaseous discharge from a furnace used to melt scrap galvanized metal for recycle would be expected to contain molecular zinc, lead, copper, iron, and other metals. These substances are somewhat hydrophobic, therefore, not readily scrubbed by a spray of plain water. However, they react with phosphate ion to form insoluble metal phosphates. If the scrubber water is made up by dissolving inexpensive agricultural grade “triple super phosphate,” the metal ions will be efficiently scrubbed, and the “captured” insoluble metal phosphates can be easily removed from the scrubber water by coagulation and sedimentation.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2175/193864702785072803

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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