Precious Metals Reclamation: Reducing the Cost of Disposal

 

Precious metals recycling is the recovery and recycling of non-precious metals (i.e., silver, gold, platinum, palladium, iron-ore, lead, titanium, aluminum, copper, and zinc) from hazardous waste. As these materials will be reused or used protectively as precious commodities with considerable economic value, investors, processors, and transporters of these materials are encouraged to perform this recycling activity.

However, in a growing number of cases, environmental groups have raised questions regarding the environmental impact of recycling methods that involve the recovery and/or recycling of these metals. In addition to potentially having an environmental impact, the process itself can also have a monetary impact by impacting the price of the metals involved. Although such metal recycling generally generates a higher price per unit than alternative methods of recycling, when considering the broader economic benefits of this method, the cost-based benefit becomes much less important.You can get additional information at Precious Metals Reclamation

The environmental impacts of industrial wastewater treatment plants include both direct and indirect costs. Indirect costs occur when waste is deposited into a hazardous waste site that in turn contaminates groundwater. Direct costs are associated with direct damages such as spills, which can result in the contamination of drinking water supplies. Both direct and indirect costs can be mitigated through proper permitting, operation procedures, and the use of suitable protective equipment during processing. In addition to preventing the pollution of groundwater, pre-treatment of hazardous wastes helps to reduce the risk of accidental releases of chemicals, heavy metals, and organic waste which can have a significant impact on the environment.

A pre-treatment facility typically includes a tank where wastewater is treated prior to entering other treatment sites. This tank may be designed to be self-contained or coupled with additional treatment systems to enhance effectiveness. When processing is complete, a by-product called scum is released from the tank. This wastewater contains various metals, including iron, chromium, mercury, lead, nickel, zinc, manganese, and platinum. Removing these metals from the wastewater stream prior to storage allows recovery of these metals for reuse or further processing; however, if the precious metals reclamation method were to be combined with another method such as traditional flue gasification or reverse osmosis, it would significantly increase the cost per unit of storage.