Chemical recovery - Rare Earth Metals Recovery Company - case study

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Application
Rare Earth Metals Recovery Company, which is located in Albany, Oregon, recovers rare earth metals (zirconium, hafnium and titanium) via various proprietary chemical processes.

Wastewater Description
The wastewater consists of methyl-isobutyl-ketone (MIBK)
Waste Disposal Goals
The company’s waste disposal goal was to isolate and remove MIBK. The recovered MIBK was purified and used in the rare earth metal recovery process.

Wastewater Treatment Challenge
Former Process
Client was using a standard physical chemical treatment to precipitate residual metals and phase separate MIBK from their proprietary recovery processes. The prior system utilized coagulation, flocculation, pH control and post filtration. The current separation methodology utilizes copious amounts of water for the extraction and chemical makeup processes. All aqueous streams from the metals separation process either gravity drain or are pumped to a large circular clarifier. The waste is then treated with coagulants (FeCL3) and then with lime to precipitate the metals. MIBK was removed by phase separation when concentrations allowed.

The settled sludge from the clarifier is then delivered to a plate and frame filter press for dewatering. The resulting press filtrate is reintroduced to the clarifier. The treated effluent is then discharged to the local POTW. The pressed sludge cake is removed as F-006 waste by a licensed hauler.

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