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Pollution Prevention and Control Technologies for Plating Operations


Section 4 - Chemical Solution Maintenance

4.5 ACID SORPTION

4.5.7 Operational and Maintenance Experience

Three shops provided operating and maintenance (O&M) information regarding acid sorption. The following summarizes the respondents O&M experience:

  • The average percentage of time this technology was unavailable for use due to O&M problems (i.e., downtime) was 4%. Two shops provided comments on their O&M experience. PS 037 indicated that O&M problems were minimal and cited relay replacement as the only specific example. PS 167 stated: ìEquipment is well designed, with very low maintenance and high reliability [sic].î
  • All three respondents indicated that the only labor commonly needed to operate this technology was a trained technician. The average number of man-hours needed to operate this technology is 103 hrs/yr.
  • All three of the respondents are still operating their acid sorption systems. One system was purchased in 1978 (PS 037), one in 1984 (PS 167) and the other system was purchased in 1990 (PS 020). It should be noted that the earlier system was purchased only one year after the technology was commercialized in North America. Oddly, although this unit has been operational for 15 years, this same respondent indicated that, if given the chance to repeat the technology selection process, they would purchase the same technology from a different vendor.
  • Eco-Tec provided the following data on the expected life spans of resins for common applications of acid sorption (species of dissolved metal is shown in parenthesis):
    • Sulfuric acid (aluminum): 10 to 15 years
    • Nitric/HF acids (stainless steel): 2 to 5 years
    • Sulfuric acid (iron): 3 to 7 years
    • Hydrochloric acid (iron): 5 to 10 years
    • Nitric acid (nickel/copper): 2 to 5 years

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