In-Plant Reduction of Hazardous Waste Generation in the Fluorocarbon Industry

EPA Contract Number: 68D10056
Title: In-Plant Reduction of Hazardous Waste Generation in the Fluorocarbon Industry
Investigators: Elliott, John F.
Small Business: Chemical and Metal Industries Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 1991 through March 1, 1992
Project Amount: $49,876
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1991) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Pollution Prevention , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


The fluorocarbon industry in the United States currently generates over 1,200,000 pounds of spent antimony fluoro- carbon catalyst annually in producing 1,190 million pounds of fluorocarbons (CFCs, HCFCS, HFCS). This spent cata- lyst is a mixture of halogenated organic compounds (HOCs), antimony, and arsenic halides. It is extremely hazardous, toxic, and corrosive. It contains at least eight listed "char- acteristic" wastes (e.g., CHC13, CC14, C2Cl6, C6Cl6. Ironi- cally, as ozone-damaging, fully halogenated chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are replaced by their less damaging or benign cousins, HCFCs and HFCS, spent catalyst generation will increase, since more catalyst is consumed in the production of these replacement species. This material is currently processed in the United States for antimony pentachloride recovery and recycle at an off-site facility.

The proposed Phase I work is aimed at demonstrating a procedure for the on-site handling of the catalyst that will permit the recycling of a major portion of the HOCs as well as the antimony catalyst itself back to the fluorocarbon process. It also incorporates the in-process use of the other contained HOCs and the isolation for sale of perchloroeth- ylene, a byproduct of the process. In this fashion the HOCs that ultimately would constitute an incinerable waste are reduced to only 20% of that separated and incinerated using current technology. The process has the potential for reduc- ing waste generation at the source of one-third that cur- rently achievable using the best current off-site recovery and recycling technology.

Supplemental Keywords:

Scientific Discipline, Air, Toxics, Waste, Sustainable Industry/Business, air toxics, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Chemistry, HAPS, Technology for Sustainable Environment, New/Innovative technologies, Engineering, Hazardous, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, hydroflurocarbon(HFC), ozone depletion potential, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), waste reduction, ozone depletion, recycled waste products, spent catalyst, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), catalysts, hazardous waste, ozone depleting chemicals, HOCs, HCFCs, recycling, spent CFC catalyst, CFCs, pollution prevention, source reduction, antimony recovery

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final