Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol.88, No.1, 95-106, 2001
Elimination of cutting oil wastes by promoted hydrothermal oxidation
Cutting oils are emulsionable fluids widely used in metalworking processes. Their composition is normally oil, water, and additives (fatty acids, surfactants, biocides, etc.) generating a toxic waste after a long use. Generally, it is a waste too dilute to be incinerated and it is difficult to treat biologically. Other conventional treatment methods currently used are not satisfactory from the environmental point of view. Wet air oxidation (WAO) and supercritical water oxidation (SCWO) are two farms of hydrothermal oxidation that have been proved to be effective processes to treat a wide variety of industrial wastes, but hardly tested for oily wastes. In the case of refractory wastes, WAO process is not efficient enough due to the moderate temperatures used. SCWO is a more powerful process since operating temperatures are usually around 600 degreesC, but the use of severe conditions leads to major disadvantages in the commercialization of the technology. In order to enhance WAO and SCWO efficiency at mild conditions, the use of free radical promoters has been studied in this work. Both normal and promoted hydrothermal oxidation have been tested to treat cutting oil wastes in a continuous flow system operating at 300-500 degreesC. Hydrogen peroxide has been used both as a source of oxygen and as a source of free radicals by introducing it into the reactor with or without previous thermal decomposition, respectively. Organic material is easily oxidized in both cases, obtaining more than 90% TOC reduction in less than 10 s at 500 degreesC. At lower temperatures, the use of promoters clearly enhances the oxidation process. Activation energies have beer. estimated for normal and promoted oxidation processes.
Keywords:hydrothermal oxidation;cutting oils;promoted oxidation;kinetics;wet oxidation;supercritical water oxidation