A Membrane Process for Recycling Die Lube from Wastewater Solutions Page: 4 of 92
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Metaldyne, Inc. generates a complex die lube wastewater stream in its
manufacturing operation that cannot be directly discharged to the environment.
The wastewater contains oils, hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and silicones. A team
from Metaldyne, SpinTek, LLC, and the Idaho National Engineering and
Environmental Laboratory tested an active-surface membrane technology for
separating this waste stream; the ultimate goal is to recycle the major
components, concentrate the contaminants for disposal, and dispose of the clean
water permeates from the membranes into a municipal sewer.
Our laboratory and field studies show that Metaldyne's wastewater can be
cleaned up using active-surface membrane technology. Active-surface
ultrafiltration membranes reduced organics from initial oil and grease contents by
20-25X, carbon oxygen demand (COD) by 1.5-2X, and total organic carbon
(TOC) by 0.6, while the biological organic carbon demand (BOD) remained
constant. The metals content of the solutions can be reduced significantly using
tight ultrafiltration active-surface membranes. The active-surface membranes
were not fouled as badly as non-active-surface systems. The active-surface
membrane flux levels are consistently higher and more stable than those of the
non-active-surface membranes tested.
The field tests of the ST-II rotary filter system were very promising. The
die lube concentration tests achieved the goal of 20X and the filtrate was clear
and colorless, indicating nearly complete removal of the die lube. One test further
concentrated the feed to 50X, but the membrane water flux decreased so much as
the concentration went from 20X to 50X that this proved to be too low for
The field results for glycerin removal and die lube recycling were also
very favorable. The rotary microfilter concentrated the die lube components from
the waste stream, and then the contaminating glycerin was washed out with
water, producing a die lube suitable for recycling. The recycling system operated
for six weeks with only seven cleaning cycles and no down time due to
mechanical or electrical failure. There is no doubt that this full-scale production
test yielded tremendous results-it proved that recycling of die lubricant is
possible and reduced die casting scrap from 8.4 to 7.8%. Further evaluation is
needed to determine if it is cost effective.
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Peterson, Eric S.; Trudeau, Jessica; Cleary, Bill; Hackett, Michael & Greene, William A. A Membrane Process for Recycling Die Lube from Wastewater Solutions, report, April 1, 2003; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc890987/m1/4/: accessed January 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.