Overview / Background:
A WTS customer was routinely shipping drums of spent solvents off-site for hazardous waste disposal. The drums were shipping for fuels blending and had been shipping to the same facility for several years on a routine basis. Unexpectedly, on one shipment there were several drums that tested positive for organic peroxides, at various concentrations. To safely manage the drums for disposal, this required a high hazard team to treat and stabilize the drums in question before sending to an alternate TSDF for incineration.
Under normal storage conditions, a significant number of solvents can undergo autoxidation to form unstable and potentially dangerous peroxide by-products. This process is catalyzed by light and heat and occurs when susceptible materials are exposed to atmospheric oxygen. Finding cost effective, safe, and compliant options for solvents with organic peroxides can be a tricky situation.
Following the “objectivity” guiding principle of WTS, we were successful in assisting our client with this issue. We helped create testing protocols and WTS visited the facility every 2-3 weeks to test and evaluate newly generated mixed solvent drums. Based on these results and the presence of organic peroxides in some drums, WTS worked to develop a 3-tiered disposal/recycling plan based on peroxide concentrations, in lieu of expensive emergency response to treat materials on site. A key part of our solution relies on sustainability and the circular economy model of “Make, Use, Recycle”. After testing and depending on the peroxide concentrations, WTS has developed a fuel blending option, incineration option, and a true closed loop recycling option utilizing waste to energy / solvent distillation / and water treatment technologies. Upon testing each drum, the proper facility is selected for disposal and a shipment is scheduled. This approach provides our client with the options needed to stay safe, stay compliant and save money.
Not having to mobilize highly specialized teams to deal with elevated peroxide levels resulted in a cost avoidance of $80-100K annually!