Waste Minimization and Recycling by Microfiltration during Nitrocellulose Manufacturing

by Lee Clapp, Univ of Wisconsin-Madison, United States,
Jae K. Park, Univ of Wisconsin-Madison, United States,
Byung J. Kim, Univ of Wisconsin-Madison, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Critical Issues in Water and Wastewater Treatment


A plant survey was conducted to determine the amount of nitrocellulose (NC) discharged with process water from each of five sequential NC purification processes. Wastewater samples were analyzed for particle size distribution (PSD), total suspended solids concentration (TSS), particle surface charge (zeta potential), and pH. Rough mass balances indicated that approximately 5% of each initial load of NC is lost during the purification process, and that most of this loss occurs during the decanting of various tub supernatants. Tests were performed with a laboratory-scale cross-flow microfiltration (MF) unit to assess the potential of MF for removing and recycling NC fines. Measurements of permeate suspended solids concentrations and flow rates indicated that it may be feasible to remove and recycle NC fines during the various tub decanting procedures using MF. However, high capital and operational costs may result in this technology not being cost effective. Therefore, other methods for recycling NC should also be investigated.

Subject Headings: Particle size distribution | Water treatment | Recycling | Flow measurement | Filtration | Turbidity | Solids flow

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