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Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive (Wastewater Treatment)

by Mike McGinness, EcoShield Environmental Systems, Inc.
November, 2006

Mercury in Burnishing Wastes

Q: I have just finished a project that involved mercury in burnishing wastes. This mercury is just above the detectable limit and comes from the liners of the vibes. This was a very simple metals finishing process. Incoming parts were checked and all chemicals used in the process were checked. It was finally the manufacturer that admitted that mercury was used in the creation of the liners and that it did leach out. There are thousands of these machines out there. Yet, I can not find information on treatment modalities or any information period. Have you heard anything or is this a new problem coming over the horizon?

A. Interesting problem, but I am not entirely surprised that you found a source in the liner itself. Did they say why the mercury was there? I suspect it may be some kind of bio-preservative in the elastomer material to keep it from biodegrading, or a catalyst used in making the liner. It could be in the raw polymer that they use to make the liner. This could also be just one machine manufacturer's liner with the mercury. It may not be used in other manufacturers machines. This is the first I have heard of this specific problem with mercury.

Did you also check the tumbling media itself?

Are you saying that you can not find mercury treatment methods?

Regards,

Mike McGinness



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