Proper Waste Disposal for Stainless Steel Pickling & Passivation Processes

Like many industrial processes, pickling & passivation of stainless steel and other metals creates residues that must be disposed of correctly. The strong acids in the Antox pickling & passivation products distributed in the United States by Quality Welding Products, Inc. are powerful etching materials. After use, the residues and rinse water used will contain chromium, nickel and other metals that are considered carcinogens. Neutralization of pickling materials does not remove these contaminants, even though it neutralizes the high acidity of the residues. These residues, including the water used to rinse assemblies after treatment, must be treated as hazardous waste and handled according to state and federal hazardous waste regulations. They cannot be washed down the drain or improperly dumped.

Planning for Pickling Waste Disposal in Advance Makes It Easy

Recognizing the need for disposal of pickling residues, the best approach for handling this issue is to plan for proper disposal in advance of using the Antox pickling & passivation products you order from QWP. By creating a disposal plan, you can streamline the process and eliminate the problem of deciding how to handle the waste at the last minute. Here’s a guide to creating a pickling residue waste management plan for your needs:
  • Identify a Waste Contractor - An Internet search for “Hazardous Waste Disposal” that includes your location will assist you in finding a hazardous waste contractor in your area. Most large waste disposal companies, like Waste Management and others, can transport and process your pickling waste, including rinse water. Contact the contractor to discuss your needs and for assistance in developing the rest of your plan.
  • Establish Environmentally Aware Pickling Procedures - Whether you use Antox pickling paste products, pickling sprays, or bath pickling products, you’ll need to retain and capture the residues and rinse water throughout the process. Containment and prevention of spills are primary considerations. Each pickling operation is different, so each plan will use different techniques. For example, for small projects where pickling pastes are used, the entire process can be done in an acid-resistant polypropylene/polyethylene tray, tub or bin large enough to hold the item and capture all residues and rinse water.
  • Train Workers - Discuss the need to contain residues with all employees involved in the process and thoroughly explain the process to be used. Prevention of spills and other issues is far easier than cleaning up after them.
  • Create a Storage System - Acid and chemical-resistant containers are ideal for storage of residues until your waste contractor picks them up. Suitable containers, made of polypropylene or polyethylene are available from industrial supply firms or from your waste handling contractor, in a variety of sizes.
  • Check Waste Capture for Each Job - Before beginning any pickling & passivation process, perform a careful inspection of the work environment to make sure residue and rinse water cannot escape to floor drains or spill and create a difficult clean-up job. The time needed for this inspection will assure you that your preparations are adequate and help prevent accidental spills.
  • QWP - Dedicated to Environmentally Sound Pickling Processes

    At Quality Welding Products, we’re always aware of the environmental factors involved with the use of the pickling & passivation products we distribute in the USA. We encourage our customers to carefully read and follow the environmental information included in the MSDS and Product Data Sheets for the products they select. You can access those documents on our website and copies are included with every order. With planning and forethought before using these products, no harm will be done to the environment and you can efficiently meet all regulations. Contact us to discuss your picking and passivation needs. We’re here to assist you in every way.