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Solvent usage and recycling potential in a research and development setting

Description: Argonne National Laboratory utilizes thousands of gallons of chemicals each year. Laboratory wastes can be broadly characterized as coming from three focus areas: (1) restoration and decommissioning associated wastes generate larger quantities of waste on a one-time basis. The wastes may be non-hazardous to highly toxic and the quantities are variable. (2) Laboratory operations generate approximately 50% of all waste disposed. Operational waste can be characterized as less hazardous, reasonably consistent in nature, generally in larger quantities. (3) the final waste stream is small quantities of many different materials coming from many different waste streams. This waste stream is at the center of ANL`s pollution prevention program. The research areas have implemented many pollution prevention techniques. Solvent substitution has been effective in reducing hazardous cleaning wastes, scintillation cocktail wastes, and other chlorinated wastes. Micro chemistry is effective at minimizing certain chemical process wastes, developing new analytical chemistry procedures has reduced and eliminated other waste forms. New instrumentation has provided first level reductions in many waste streams. Despite these new techniques solvent usage remains the largest research related waste stream. The present solvents are generated from instruments such as electrophoresis and high pressure liquid chromatographs (HPLC), solvent extractions, biological staining and cleaning practices. ANL recognizes the significant role recycling this waste stream is in Pollution Prevention Program implementation. ANL initiated a study to quantify solvent usage, characterization of the waste solvent, and match the purity requirements exploring all opportunities to substitute and recycle.
Date: July 1, 1996
Creator: Vivio, F.; Thuot, J.R. & Peters, R.W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department