Superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) are a key technology for safe, fast, and efficient stabilization of wet and saturated coal combustion residuals (CCR), a major waste management challenge for electric power utilities in the US. Traditional pozzolanic stabilization reagents, such as quicklime, lime kiln dust (LKD), and Portland cement, often perform inadequately with CCR material that is heavily layered, unusually difficult to dewater, or when operating in excessively wet weather conditions. However, the introduction of small dosage rates of SAPs (0.3%-1.0%), either as a standalone technology or as a component of a pozzolan blend, provides CCR management contractors a modern tool for reliable and predictable CCR drying.
Safe and accurate, hydro-excavation has become the most preferred method for digging, daylighting, and potholing in many industrial sectors in recent decades. While the benefits of hydro-excavation are undeniable, the process generates large volumes of mud and slurry waste that must be managed, in order to avoid environmental risks. Superabsorbent polymers (SAP) offer an easy, safe, and efficient tool for eliminating free liquid in hydro-excavation waste fluid so that the waste can pass the EPA paint filter test, be transported and disposed in a Subtitle D landfill as solid waste.
When a Southeastern US-based fiber optic and telecom contractor was faced with a persistent liquid waste management challenge, the contractor contacted Zappa-Stewart to conduct an on-site demonstration of solidification with ZapZorb superabsorbent polymers (SAPs).
HDD technology has changed the landscape for the pipeline and utility infrastructure sectors, quite literally. Pipelines can now be installed under waterways, utilities can be installed without open cutting of highways and wetlands, and residential service connections can be installed without digging up lawns and driveways. But as with any technological innovation, HDD technology comes with its own set of new challenges. The large volumes of spent drilling mud, that are generated by HDD borings, require careful management, to prevent unnecessary costs and environmental risks. A rapidly increasing number of HDD contractors and owners choose to solidify spent drilling fluid on-site, with superabsorbent polymers (SAPs), to eliminate excessive waste hauling, disposal charges, and environmental liabilities.
While the benefits of horizontal directional drilling (HDD) technology have changed the game for the utility and pipeline construction industries, the large volumes of fluid waste generated by HDD borings pose significant costs and environmental risk. Contractors and owners often choose to solidify drilling mud on site with superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) because of financial and time savings as well as SAPs’ ease of use and environmental benefits.
Sludge, a viscous mixture of liquid and solid components, is generated by essentially all industrial and municipal wastewater treatment facilities. When sludge must be periodically removed in order for plant maintenance crews to conduct repairs on process equipment and concrete holding basins, superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) are the safest, fastest, and most efficient choice to convert wet sludge to dry stackable solids.
Liquid waste streams such as wastewater treatment sludge (biosolids), coal combustion residuals (coal ash slurries), horizontal direction drilling (HDD) mud, and dredged sediments are challenging to manage for many reasons. Regulatory restrictions on liquid waste disposal require free liquids to be absorbed, or solidified, prior to acceptance at landfill facilities. The absorbent material that is selected can impact the landfill’s leachate management costs, the landfill’s longevity, and the water quality in groundwater and surface water in the vicinity of the landfill. Superabsorbent polymers (SAPs), one of the EPA’s few accepted absorbent materials, help landfills minimize leachate management costs, mitigate environmental risks from leachate leaks, and maximize landfill life.
Are superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) biodegradable? Will SAPs release liquids in a landfill? These questions are asked by many professionals in the environmental waste management industry when considering SAPs for a project. SAPs are used globally to solidify liquid waste streams safely and efficiently prior to final disposal or reuse. However as with any waste treatment reagent, it is important for environmental practitioners to understand how SAPs behave once they are disposed in a landfill or left on-site as a component of fill material.
The rapid increase in horizontal directional drilling (HDD) activities throughout North America has resulted in a higher demand for vacuum truck services to manage liquid waste streams. And while drilling contractors and pipeline maintenance crews often rely on the convenience and efficiency of hiring a vacuum truck to get liquid waste out of their way, the next step in the process, liquid waste solidification, is often not as efficient or cost effective as it could be. Low-end commodity absorbents, like those that are widely used in the waste treatment industry, present several challenges to environmental contractors. Fortunately, superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) offer a safe, efficient, and cost-effective solution to liquid waste solidification.
Dredging of saturated sediments from waterways, lakes, and storm water ponds generates massive quantities of waste material that require costly and time-consuming management practices, such as dewatering, solidification, transportation, and off-site disposal. If solidification of saturated sediments, followed by transportation and disposal, are parts of the work plan at your site, superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) can help to reduce your budget as well as time on-site, and they can minimize environmental risks.