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Foundries unite to develop state-of-the-art landfill.

Foundries Unite to Develop State-of-the-Art Landfill

Ground was broken in late August near Reading, PA, for a state-of-the-art landfill facility for foundry sand, slag and dust.

"Nobody has a solid waste disposal system like the one we are building," said Joseph J. Manzella, Jr., president of Process Recovery Corp (PRC). PRC consists of 35 iron, brass and steel foundries from southeastern Pennsylvania, all of which joined together to develop a better way to dispose of their residual material.

"PRC has developed a landfill system which will protect groundwater from contamination," Manzella said. "More important, the landfill will fund future reclamation and recycling activities consistent with Public Law 101. The law requires the removal of recyclable materials to the greatest extent possible and this we plan to do by first reclaiming our waste sand."

The landfill is being developed in Cumru Township on a 22 acre site about two miles southeast of Reading. It is near Metropolitan Edison's Titus Generating Station. Spotts, Stevens and McCoy, Inc, consulting engineers, designed the landfill.

Technical support was provided by two Penn State researchers, Dr. Barry Scheetz, associate professor of solid state science in the Materials Research Laboratory, and Dr. Raymond W. Regan, Sr., associate professor of civil engineering and a center director within the Environmental Research Institute. The professors chemically characterized every residual from each foundry and studied various technologies for their reclamation potential.

Their research was supported, in part, by challenge grants from the Ben Franklin Technology Center of Central and Northern Pennsylvania, Inc. Its president, John Werner, called the PRC project "an example of how the Ben Franklin Partnership works with industries and educational institutions to help solve a problem.

"Helping the foundry industry find a safe and low cost way of disposing of solid waste is one way the Ben Franklin program meets its primary objective of creating and retaining jobs in Pennsylvania."

"Although not required by current state law, PRC's landfill is fully lined with a leachate detection and collection system," Manzella said. "We wanted to make certain that no leachate would ever escape our control. We elected to use the liner as a safety precaution.

"Studies indicate that with our specific material, no leachate will reach the collection pipes for at least 27 years. Rainwater falling into the landfill will, during that time, either evaporate or be absorbed by the sand. After that time, the sand may become saturated with leachate and the system of pipes criss-crossing the landfill will then collect it.

"A computerized system designed by Dr. Scheetz will allow us to make a quick analysis of the chemical makeup of materials in the landfill. We can then constantly monitor how well we are disposing of wastes put in the landfill."

Eventually, however, PRC plans to reclaim about 80% of the waste sand by heating it in a fluidized bed at 1600F. "This process," Manzella noted, "will burn of all of the components that make foundry sand nonusable and return it to its original condition. These components make up about 4-6% of the silica sand."

Some of the larger foundries already have their own reclamation facilities. "By sharing a facility, the small PRC foundries will be able to reclaim their sand and, eventually, other wastes," Manzella explained. The estimated cost to build the reclamation facility is $2 million.

Member foundries employ from five to 800 workers and dispose of about 125,000 tons of solid wastes a year. The central landfill and reclamation facility will save them about $2.5 million a year in disposal costs and about $2 million in new sand costs.

In another phase of the project, PRC hopes to use slag and dust wastes in producing concrete that can be used for construction projects approved by the state's Department of Transportation. "Our goal," Manzella said, "is to ultimately recover and reuse all of the residual wastes from the foundries."

The Penn State research team was instrumental in developing alternative uses for foundry residuals. Dr. Scheetz developed concretes using foundry dusts and slags, and Dr. Regan developed a sludge stabilization technique and analyzed the compatibility of chemical binders on reclaimed sand.
COPYRIGHT 1989 American Foundry Society, Inc.
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Copyright 1989, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Oct 1, 1989
Words:687
Previous Article:What's in a name?
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