Continuous Cyanide Destruction

Continuous flow-through systems have the advantage of reduced space requirements but require additional process equipment. In the system shown in Figure 7.42.4, the two reaction steps are separated.

In the first step, the ORP controller setpoint is approximately + 300 mV. It controls the addition of chlorine to oxidize the cyanide into cyanate. The pH is maintained at approximately 10. The reaction time is approximately 5 min.

Since the second step (oxidation of the cyanates) requires an additional amount of chlorine charged at nearly the same rate as in the first step, the wastewater treatment facility obtains the chlorine flow rate signal by measuring chlorine feed rate to the first step and multiplying it by a constant to control the chlorine feed rate in the second step. The caustic requirement depends solely on the chlorine rate (pH control is not necessary); therefore, the facility can use the same signal to adjust caustic feed. The ORP instrument sampling the final effluent can signal

FIG. 7.42.3 Variable quality and flow rate of waste oxidized by chlorine.

process failure if the potential level drops below approximately +750 mV.

Although a feedback loop from the second ORP analyzer to the second chlorinator seems beneficial, practice has not shown this loop to be necessary because the ra-tioing accuracy between the first-stage chlorine rate and

FIG. 7.42.4 Continuous oxidation of cyanide waste with chlorine. The influent has a continuous constant flow rate and variable quality.

secondary addition (approximately 1:1) is sufficiently high. At worst, the system as shown applies a little more chlorine than is required. Table 7.42.1 lists the setpoints and variables applicable to this oxidation process. Fixed-flow-rate systems are preferred because they provide constant reaction times.

The use of residual chlorine analyzers is not applicable to this process since the metal ions in the waste and intermediate products interfere with accurate determinations. They are used in processes where the presence of excess residual chlorine indicates a completed reaction. The setpoint is usually 1 mg/l or less.

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