Solidification of liquid wastes is a widely used waste management method in a variety of industrial sectors. When evaluating different solidification products, absorption capacity is a critical parameter that should be understood before making a selection. Superabsorbent polymers (SAP) feature an absorption capacity that is approximately 75 times greater than traditional absorbents such as sawdust and dried granular corn cobs.
One of the core applications for superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) is liquid waste solidification. SAPs are utilized by waste management professionals to prevent potentially harmful fluids from entering waterways, groundwater aquifers, and other sensitive environments.
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.
Superabsorbent polymer (SAP) technology has a wide range of uses in a multitude of industrial, consumer, and specialty markets. The average consumer encounters SAPs on a daily basis, often without realizing their presence. SAPs are used in baby diapers, absorbent pads for food packaging, in hot/cold gel packs, feminine hygiene products, cat litter and more. SAPs also play a role in solidifying and rendering liquids generated by medical procedures as non-"red bag waste." In addition to the consumer goods and medical markets, SAPs are compatible with a long list of construction and industrial process wastes.
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).
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.