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DOE-STD-1128-98
8.4.3.5 Distillation
Distillation (including vacuum distillation) is at least conceptually simple.
It removes all but volatile contaminants. In practice, some contaminants
will cause foaming, and evaporator maintenance is often a problem. If
laundry waste or other waste-containing detergents are to be evaporated, it
may be necessary to add an antifoaming compound. Although these are
sometimes effective, they often degrade with heat faster than the detergents
or other compounds causing the foaming. Few evaporators take the product
to dryness, as this often creates a scale build-up. If the evaporator bottoms
are removed as a solution, they must be solidified, usually with some
increase in volume.
8.4.3.6 Purification by Reverse Osmosis
This process is highly effective on relatively pure water streams. The water
is passed through a semipermeable membrane by mechanical pressure,
leaving contaminants behind. The result is generally 80% to 99% of the
influent water released as pure water, with the remainder containing all of
the contaminants. Reverse osmosis has the advantage over ion exchange in
that it will remove nonionic contaminants although these often shorten the
life of the membrane. It is much more energy-efficient than distillation and
requires much less equipment for the same volume of water treated. It is
sometimes used as a "polishing" technique to further treat relatively clean
water.
8.4.3.7 Solidification
Solidification is often a last-resort treatment because, while the other
treatments described reduce the volume of solid waste requiring disposal,
solidification increases it. Nevertheless, it is useful for some waste.
Portland cement is the most common solidification medium for water
solutions, aqueous suspensions, and resins. However, there are other
proprietary materials, including some especially for oils and other organic
compounds.
8.4.3.8 Solvent Extraction
Solvent extraction is used exclusively with organic solvents and involves
mixing the solvent with an immiscible aqueous solution in which the
contaminant is soluble. In this way, the contaminant is transferred to the
aqueous solution for further treatment. (Solvent extraction may also be
used in the other mode, in which the contaminant is transferred to the
organic solvent solution, but this has fewer applications in waste
management.) The organic solution is usually recycled.
8-19


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