Pollution prevention methods were applied at an optics manufacturer in an effort to improve recovery of a valuable polishing component, cerium oxide (ceria), 77% of which was lost to dragout and sewer discharge. Centrifugation and microfiltratiion were evaluated to develop a process that would increase recovery of used ceria, which would then be sent back to the ceria supplier for reclamation and reuse. Full-scale implementation included a high-speed centrifuge that operates continuously with a microfiltration system through recirculation in a single process tank. Sydor Optics has improved ceria recovery from 23% to 48%, saving thousands of dollars annually.
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E. Park, W. Gallagher, Z. Hobbs, M. Mayton, Pollution prevention via recovery of cerium (IV) oxide in optics company, Case Studies in Chemical and Environmental Engineering 1 (2020). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cscee.2020.100003
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