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U.S. Department of Energy Pantex Plant

Year Submitted: 2003

Process: Wastewater Treatment

Industry: Energy Production

Wastes Reduced: Sulfuric Acid

Location: Amarillo TX

No. of employees: 3246

Contact: L. Pendlebury

Phone: (806) 477-3177


Sulfuric acid used to control Ph of the wastewater treatment plant effluent remained in inventory when the process was abandoned. There were no alternative uses for the sulfuric acid at Pantex and it had absorbed water, which resolved the strength of the acid to slightly below the normal commercial strength of 66 degrees Baume. Pantex located a copper mining operation that used sulfuric acid in its ore leaching process and was able to substitute the acid for new acid, which would otherwise have been used in the process. By shipping the 9.5 tons of acid to the mining facility, Pantex avoided disposal and the associated disposal costs and instead the acid was utilized as a useable product. The sulfuric acid was shipped in February 2003.

Environmental Benefits:

Benefit was to reduce the hazardous waste generation by approximately 19,000 lbs., reduce hazardous waste storage on plant site, and reduce management of <90 day permitted sites. Another environmental benefit is this quantity of acid, with the environmental impacts associated with itÂ’s manufacture was avoided since it replaced new material that would have been otherwise manufactured for the copper mining operation.

Details of Reductions

Additional Information :

The disposal costs that were avoided were approximately $15,000.

Source: NetZero

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