Acid waste cut

Louise Smyth

Texas Nameplate has designed an exclusive acid rejuvenation program that has nearly eliminated acid waste from the chemical etching process.

Chemical etching allows nameplates to survive harsh climates for a lifetime, even longer than engraving. A trio of chemicals is used to eat away metal precisely, but the decades-old process generates 6,000 of gallons of waste every year.

Texas Nameplate created an innovative process that uses sensors to balance the chemical mix automatically and exactly, cutting acid waste by more than 70%.

After the etching is complete, the chemicals are rejuvenated and reused. The acid is pumped through specialty plumbing into a separate building, where it is stored and used again. Most companies use these chemicals only once.

"It used to be every acid that touched a piece of metal was bad acid," Administrative Manager Dan Crownover said. "Now, we're able to take the bad acid, remove only the small amount that is actually bad, and just pump that good acid right back over and reuse it over again." Crownover said the environmental impact is real and immediate. Texas Nameplate employees hope other chemical etching companies will adopt similar programs to reduce their waste, too.

"I think every company has a responsibility to the people of the community, not to be a contaminant to their community," Chemical Specialist Ron Shouse said. "They should do everything possible mechanically, physically to keep from affecting their neighbours. You don't want to be living next door to somebody who is polluting your environment."

 

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