We have a new project that is generating around 10 gallons of an aqueous solution per week consisting of <1% of hydrofluoric acid and nitric acid that is being collected and disposed of as hazardous waste. The PI wants to know if he can neutralize this solution and dispose as wastewater. There are two issues at play:
· Does this waste qualify under the exemption to treat hazardous waste without a permit? The waste is hazardous because of its corrosivity (D002), and is listed as U134. But does the toxicity of the hydrofluoric acid, even at these very low concentrations, disqualify it from the treatment exemption?
· If it can be treated, is there a widely accepted methodology for neutralization? I have seen multiple procedures either using calcium chloride solutions to bind the fluorine then flocculate into a cake for later disposal, or using sodium bicarbonate solutions for pH neutralization.
G. Benjamin Cieslinski, EH&S Specialist III
Tulane University, Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)
Mailing: 1430 Tulane Avenue $8480, New Orleans, LA 70112-2699
Office: 1440 Canal St. Suite 1156
Direct: (504) 988.3996
Cell: (504) 491.5122
For non-emergency OEHS assistance, please go to OEHS Help Desk
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