Long term solutions for industrial wastes

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long term solutions for industrial wastes
a proposed approach

Paulo von Krüger
Professor of the Metallurgy and Materials Department – Escola de Minas/UFOP – Ouro Preto – Brazil,


Waste generation is an unavoidable consequence from any industrial process.
Among the shortcomings from that, environment impairing and underutilization of non- renewable naturalresources can be emphasized.
Generally speaking it can be said that the adopted solutions aims only the attending of regulatory constraints from official agencies. Normally, when these solutions result in economic benefits, it is not more than a coincidence. This comes from the misconception that wastes are unrecoverable losses and those who generate it are villains that must be permanently watched.
Inthis paper another point of view is proposed.
In it, wastes are considered as raw materials/products and generators as businessmen looking for marketing it in sound commercial basis. Besides that, from this same point of view, when there are no available technologies in the state of the art, waste generators would be responsible on storage it in a way that turned easier its recovery in thefuture. With this approach, the concept of “effluent plant” and “effluent mine” is presented
For illustrating purposes, a case study is presented, for a selected hazardous waste.
As will be seen, the approach is the same as those for conventional enterprises/raw materials.


La generación de residuos es el proceso inevitable de cualquier proceso industrial.
En las consecuenciasresultantes, se destacan la agresión al medio ambiente y el bajo provecho de los recursos naturales non renovables.
Las soluciones adoptadas normalmente contemplan casi exclusivamente el atender a las reglas ambientales impuestas por el gobierno. Los ejemplos de alternativas de reciclaje que generan beneficios económicos son apenas felices coincidencias. Esto es el resultado natural de unaconcepción que considera una pierda irrecuperable y los generadores los que deben ser controlados.
La propuesta de este trabajo es la mudanza de este enfoque.
Acá los residuos son considerados una materia prima o producto y los generadores de residuo los empresarios responsables por su colocación en el mercado, en forma comercialmente aceptable. De esta forma si no existen, en el presente,tecnologías adecuadas de recuperación, los generadores deberían tener la responsabilidad de formar estoques de modo que sean utilizables en futuro.
Dentro de este enfoque se proponen los conceptos de “planta de efluentes” y “yacimientos de efluentes”.


As it is well known any activity, both natural and artificial, generates some kind of waste. This is well stated by thethermodynamic laws.
Based on that, it can be said that it is impossible to develop a technology for any industrial process with complete elimination of wastes. In other words the “zero waste” condition is an unreachable benchmark.
Therefore all searches and developments lead to minimization, and not elimination, of the impact to the environment.

Three approaches are considered on that purpose.The first one is, of course, the attempt to reduce the waste generation level. That results in both lowering the impact to the environment and improving the recovery from the starting materials. However, as far as even the best technology doesn’t imply in a complete elimination, this approach never comes alone.
Therefore the second and/or third approaches are always present. These are recyclingand dumping, respectively.

As a general rule, it can be said that in the first approach the main concerns are the technical and economical ones whereas in the other two, the environmental side is emphasized.

Waste minimizing is already a concern in any plant and, in principle, there is no need on regulations to stimulate it. In fact, the less waste is generated the higher are the yields,...
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