Peristaltics take on the nasties 09 February 2011

Surface treatment technologies specialist AHC Benelux reports that its peristaltic pump is working well, handling aggressive wastewater fluids.

Luc Heldens, supervisor chemicals and R&M, explains that the fikrm has two sites in the Netherlands – Eindhoven and Venlo – and that Eindhoven alone has eight flexible production lines electroplating silver, gold, copper and tin, and also processing electro-less nickel and synergetic coatings.

"Running these continuous coating operations produces wastewater that needs to be treated before disposal in accordance with environmental regulations," he states. "To prepare process wastewater for disposal, both hydrochloric acid and caustic soda are used to ensure pH is maintained."
Originally, he says, an air-operated diaphragm pump was considered for the task, but, as wastewater from production contains 33% acid chloride, solids would have destroyed its membrane. Also, this pump type was unable to ensure adequate accuracy of dosing.

Hence the peristaltic pump – in this case a Series 521F/REC close-coupled unit, from Watson-Marlow Pumps Group, which recently replaced a baseplate pump, from the same company, which had reached end of life. "We installed the 521F/REC pump, fitted with Marprene thermoplastic tubing elements, in February and it has since performed extremely well," comments Heldens.

"It is pumping hydrochloric acid for about an hour a day, and caustic for around 15 hours a day. The pump is linked integrally to our pH controller and I have to say we've had no issues whatsoever with reliability."

Heldens also comments that the pump is easy to operate and needs very little maintenance. "Another significant advantage of using tube elements is the longer lifetime of the tubing and the ease with which we can replace it," he adds.

Brian Tinham

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