Paint Sludge Separation Using Enhanced Cross-Flow Filtration
This SBIR Phase I project will develop a novel microfiltration system which uses cross-flow filtration, swirl flow patterns, oscillated and periodically interrupted flow, periodic back-flush, and particle recuperation to deal with the treatment of paint sludges generated from spray paint booths. It is aimed primarily at the automotive industry, but could be equally successfully applied to any large spray painting operation such as train carriages, planes, etc. The project will explore various membranes, and test module configurations and operational parameters in order to optimize the system. The project will test synthetic paint mixtures as well as real paint sludges on the most promising configuration, and they will use CFD simulations and modeling to improve the design and to predict Phase II performance. The combination of original reactor configurations and particular choices of membrane has not previously been tested with paint sludges.
The broader/commercial impacts of the proposed project will include a reduction in the release of paints and paint sludges into the environment, reduction in the energy needed to achieve this in comparison with existing technologies, and the possibility of recycling the paint itself. There are 75 million pounds of paint sludges generated annually in the U.S. by the automotive industry alone.
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