Pollution Prevention via Recovery of Cerium (IV) Oxide in Optics Company

Elsevier, Case Studies in Chemical and Environmental Engineering, 24 February 2020, 100003
Authors: 
Eugene Park, William Gallagher, Zachary Hobbs, Mark Mayton

Pollution prevention methods were applied at an optics manufacturer in an effort to improve recovery of a valuable polishing component, cerium oxide (ceria), 77% of which was lost to dragout and sewer discharge. Centrifugation and microfiltratiion were evaluated to develop a process that would increase recovery of used ceria, which would then be sent back to the ceria supplier for reclamation and reuse. Full-scale implementation included a high-speed centrifuge that operates continuously with a microfiltration system through recirculation in a single process tank. Sydor Optics has improved ceria recovery from 23% to 48%, saving thousands of dollars annually.