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Metal Finishing Pollution Prevention
The metal finishing Environmental Management System (EMS) template was designed to help metal finishers create and implement a streamlined EMS that improves compliance and promotes pollution prevention (P2). EPA determined that an industry-specific EMS template can help small and mid-sized businesses implement an EMS that improves environmental performance.
EPA Region 9, the Metal Finishing Association of Southern California, and the California Manufacturing Technology Center cooperated on the Pollution Prevention Project for Metal Finishers. The template provides an implementation tool for companies developing EMSs. It was tested at small and mid-sized metal finishing facilities in California.
The project involved:
- testing seven P2 methods and technologies at five small- to- mid-sized metal finishing facilities in southern California, and
- documenting results (for example, source reductions and cost savings) and actively transferring successful techniques and technologies to other metal finishing facilities via fact sheets, workshops, and videotapes.
EPA Region 9 has also implemented a metal finishing P2 program in South Phoenix, AZ. The program focused on a wide range of subjects transferable to many facilities. Costs, raw material savings, and waste reductions were documented for each project. Detailed descriptions of the projects are documented in the following fact sheets.
- Reverse osmosis applications for metal finishers PDF (4 pp, 199K)
- Innovative cooling system for hard chrome electroplating PDF (1 pg, 1.13M)
- Modifying tank layouts to improve process efficiency PDF (4 pp, 337K)
- Electrodeless conductivity control systems for rinse water reduction PDF (4 pp, 385K)
- Reducing rinse water use with conductivity control systems PDF (4 pp, 385K)
- Reducing dragout with spray rinses PDF (4 pp, 404K)
- Finding an alternative to solvent degreasing PDF (4 pp, 168K)
- Metal recovery and wastewater reduction through electrowinning PDF (4 pp, 186K)
- Extending electrodeless nickel bath life with electrodialysis PDF (4 pp, 106K)
- Metal finishing bath life extension PDF (4 pp, 263K)
Metal Finishing P2 Projects Results
||60% decrease in nickel acetate use
||37% decrease in electroless nickel chemical use
||10% reduction in chromic acid use
|Conductivity control systems
||43% water use reduction
||60% water use reduction
|Tank layout modifications
||50% water use reduction
||Decreased reject rates from 10 to 1 percent and associated wastes
EPA Region 9 also holds workshops and provides mini-assessments, developed through the South Phoenix project, in northern and southern California. A mini-assessment is a technique that can help a metal finisher understand the impacts and costs of the facility's material use and waste generation and target specific processes for P2. Mini-assessments help to:
- Compile and analyze facility data on material use, waste generation and operating costs;
- Establish metrics to assess a facility's process operations and costs;
- Identify proven P2 techniques and technologies that can improve the facility's operating conditions; and
- Monitor the results of P2 techniques and technologies.
See a workshop outline for the Metal Finishing P2 Project (descriptions of technology transfer, and dragout reduction for line operators).
NOTE: If you would like to order a copy of the video or a hard copy of the spreadsheet above, please send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.