Zero Waste Logo The Zero Wate Network the University of Texas at Arlington Center for Environmental Excellence Environmental Training Institute Logo  

Join Us on:

Social Network Nav Bar

Lean and P2 Workshops

Nov, 14-16, 2017,

Dec. 5-7, 2017




Environmental Management Systems Workshops

Lake Charles
Sep. 26-29, 2017

Dec. 12-15, 2017



Case Study Database

           Add Story    |    Search Case Studies    |   


Precision Tube Finishing Inc.

Year Submitted: 2003

Process: Parts Cleaning

Industry: Metal Fabrication

Wastes Reduced: Electrolyte Waste

Substance: Phosphoric/Sulfuric

Equipment: Filtration

Location: Houston TX

No. of employees: 16

Contact: Jim Toney

Phone: (281) 856-7400


Precision Clean Piping, Inc., electrochemically cleans stainless steel piping components for high-purity applications in the microelectronics, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and health care industries, using a specialized electropolishing process. Tubing diameters typically range from 1/8-inch to 1-inch. The process drives large electric currents through the components by means of a strong, circulating electrolyte (a blend of concentrated phosphoric and sulfuric acids).

P2 Application:

The solution to the problem was to make the electrolyte suitable for other related processes and find other users to whom it could be passed on. The main objections held by potential users of the solution was that it contained sediments and that its iron content was too high. Those problems are mitigated by modifying the electrolyte reservoir, adding a "V" bottom for drainage and a series of baffles to encourage settling of the most egregious solids where they can be drained off and otherwise disposed. A self-cleaning, spiral-wound, stainless steel prefilter is being installed to remove fine particles.

Environmental Benefits:

Approximately 20 tons of solution can be sold for reuse rather than being deep-well injected as a hazardous waste.

Details of Reductions

Additional Information :

Revenue from acid sales is minimal, but avoided disposal and handling costs are well over $30,000 per year. In addition, steps taken to improve purity of used electrolyte in order to win loyalty of potential "reusers" are expected to generate quality improvements in the tubing polishing process itself. Finally, useful life-expectancy of the electrolyte is expected to improve by about 1/3 without reducing its subsequent value to other users.

Source: TCEQ

SHEP Shield
Health and

ERP Shield

ESP Shield

EMP Shield

Attend a workshop and
earn credits toward a
Professional Certification



The Zero Waste Network is one of eight Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange P2RxCenters , serving as a national network of regional information centers: NEWMOA (Northeast), WRRC (Southeast), GLRPPR (Great Lakes), ZeroWasteNet (Southwest), P2RIC (Plains), Peaks to Prairies (Mountain), WSPPN (Pacific Southwest), PPRC (Northwest). We are a proud member of the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable.

National P2 Roundtable Logo