Zero Waste Logo The Zero Wate Network the University of Texas at Arlington Center for Environmental Excellence Environmental Training Institute Logo  

Join Us on:

Social Network Nav Bar

Lean and P2 Workshops

Nov, 14-16, 2017,

Dec. 5-7, 2017




Environmental Management Systems Workshops

Lake Charles
Sep. 26-29, 2017

Dec. 12-15, 2017



Case Study Database

           Add Story    |    Search Case Studies    |   


SGS-Thomson Microelectronics

Year Submitted: 2003

Process: Electroplating

Industry: Electronics Manufacturing

Wastes Reduced: Process Chemicals

Substance: Ion Exchange Resin

Location: Carrollton, Dallas County TX

No. of employees: 1100


The goal of the project was to eliminate the need to landfill-dispose of spent semiconductor-grade ion exchange resin used for deionized water production by finding viable recycling or reuse options for the material. The resin was generated between May and November of 1990.

P2 Application:

Ion exchange resin from 2 anion and 3 mixed beds, although no longer useful for the purpose of producing semiconductor- grade deionized water, was analyzed and found to have a sufficient life expectancy remaining in it for use in other applications, such as boiler water, condensate, and wastewater treatment. By finding an interested party who could further utilize the resin's remaining exchange capacity in another application, the resin lost its status as a waste, and became a partially-used raw material instead. A Tennessee-based company specializing in portable water treatment systems was interested in using the resin in their facilities.

Environmental Benefits:

Spent ion exchange resin is listed on the company's NOR as a Class I nonhazardous waste, requiring manifested disposal in either a Class I secured landfill, or incineration. In addition, manifested disposal amounts must be reported on the company's annual waste summary. The total amount of spent resin was 434 ft3, or 26,350 lbs., in sixty-two 55-gal drums. Incineration by-products potentially produced would include carbon monoxide, styrene, and divinylbenzene. Although generally considered to be inert, it is possible that heavy metals retained by the resin over its life expectancy could cause a potential leachate problem in a landfill as it decomposed. Once the resin has been totally expended, it may be processed and reclaimed for its polymer value in the manufacture of other plastics or resins.

Details of Reductions

Additional Information :

The company avoided costs for disposal, manifesting and reporting requirements, and the portion of the annual Texas Hazardous Waste Generation fee that would have been due from the additional weight reported. In addition, the receiving company avoided potential costs for purchase of virgin resin. 1. SGS-Thomson disposal costs avoided: (for a 1-year period) Landfill disposal $175/drum = $10,850 or Incineration $275/drum = $17,050 Manifest/report burden 2 hrs = $ 37 Hazardous waste fee = $ 250 Total potential cost = $11,137 - $17,337 Resin analysis (5 exchange capacity profiles and RCRA waste profile analysis w/TCLP for one sample) = $1,820 Total cost avoided = $9,317 - $15,517 2. Tennessee-based mobil water treatment company virgin material costs avoided: (for a 1-3 year period) Total cost for new ion exchange resin for 2 anion and 3 mixed beds: 2 an. beds, 95 ft3 ea., @ $175-190/ft3 $33,250-36,100 3 mxd. beds, 49 ft3 cation resin ea., @ $55-65/ft3 $ 8,085- 9,555 3 mxd. beds, 49 ft3 anion resin ea., @ $175-190/ft3 $25,725-27,930 Total potential cost $67,060-73,585 Subtract used resin acquisition costs: Transportation from SGS-Thomson to Tennessee-based company $ 900 Commodity compensation to SGS-Thomson = $ 200 Total acquisition cost = $ 1,100 Total potential cost avoided = $65,960-72,485

Source: TCEQ

SHEP Shield
Health and

ERP Shield

ESP Shield

EMP Shield

Attend a workshop and
earn credits toward a
Professional Certification



The Zero Waste Network is one of eight Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange P2RxCenters , serving as a national network of regional information centers: NEWMOA (Northeast), WRRC (Southeast), GLRPPR (Great Lakes), ZeroWasteNet (Southwest), P2RIC (Plains), Peaks to Prairies (Mountain), WSPPN (Pacific Southwest), PPRC (Northwest). We are a proud member of the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable.

National P2 Roundtable Logo