In metal cleaning, finishing and plating processes, a common requirement is the removal of heavy metals from the wastewater stream leaving the plant before it enters the sanitary sewer system. Discharge of water high in dissolved metals is often prohibited by local and federal water quality regulations. A very efficient way to remove these dissolved metals is Hydroxide Precipitation. This is a process where the pH of the wastewater is raised to a level capable of forming metal hydroxides such as Copper Hydroxide and Chromium Hydroxide. These hydroxides are much heavier than water and they settle out, or precipitate. The variables that need to be considered in hydroxide precipitation include temperature, pH, and metal concentration.
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