ThyssenKrupp Nirosta reduces pollution

To recycle the spent mixed acid from the annealing and pickling lines at the Krefeld cold rolling mill, ThyssenKrupp Nirosta will use a new regeneration system. The enhanced technology allows valuable substances to be recovered and fed back to the processing lines. The acid recovery system started operation in April and will reach full optimization in the summer. In the production process at ThyssenKrupp Nirosta, the scale on the surface of the annealed stainless steel is removed in a pickling process using a mixture of hydrofluoric and nitric acid. Over time, the pickling liquor becomes less effective and the “spent acid” has to be replaced regularly with fresh acid. Previously, the spent acid was neutralized using lime milk, the resultant sludge compacted and sent to landfill, and the wastewater fed to the sewer system. In the process developed by plant construction company Andritz AG, metals and regenerated mixed acid are now recovered in a thermally driven process and fed back to the pickling process. This method of acid recovery delivers advantages in many areas: lower volumes of wastewater with reduced nitrogen content mean lower pollution. Less acid and sludge needs to be transported, and the spent acid regeneration system also significantly reduces lime consumption. Moreover, acid recycling helps maintain consistent quality in the pickling process.
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