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Kelly Air Force Base

Year Submitted: 2003

Process: Painting/Coating

Industry: Military

Wastes Reduced: Wastewater

Substance: Cyanide Stripper

Equipment: non-cyanide strippers

Location: San Antonio TX

No. of employees: 13000

Contact: Dave Leeson

Phone: (210) 925-3100


Large amounts of cyanide solutions were used in metal refinishing operations. These included solutions to strip plate metals and other surface coatings form aircraft parts (strippers), to clean and remove smut from parts in preparation for electroplating (cleaners), and to electroplate metals onto parts (plating solutions). Cyanide strippers have been used commercially to strip a large variety of plate metals and other surface coatings from a number of metallic and nonmetallic substrates. Cleaning solutions use cyanide for the removal of rust, scale, and smut. They become saturated with metals and other contaminants until no longer effective and require replacements. The project involved a material change (chemical substitution).

P2 Application:

The replacement of all cyanide metal strippers with non-cyanide metal strippers has been implemented for nickel and silver strippers (Metalx B-9 nickel stripper and Rosstrip 999-sp electrolytic silver stripper and Clepo 204 metal stripper).

Environmental Benefits:

This material change reduced the use of Cyanide which is an EPA 17 ITP chemical. Cyanide rinse waters also pose a serious health threat to workers and the environment. By eliminating cyanide strippers, Kelly AFB reduced the amount and toxicity level of its hazardous waste stream.

Details of Reductions

Additional Information :

This project has an economic savings of approximately $100,000/yr in disposal costs alone.

Source: TCEQ

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