Processing Magazine

Diaphragm Pumps Handle Sulfuric Acid at Landfills

January 19, 2010
Created for water, wastewater and chemical-process applications, the pumps have been designed without the need for contour plates on the liquid side of the diaphragm. This straight-through valve-and-head design allows for improved flow characteristics and the ability to handle corrosive liquids. A pump’s ability to handle 98 percent sulfuric acid at leachate treatment plants that are located at sanitary landfills is a crucial consideration during the process of treating for ammonia in the plant’s wastewater operations. During this application, the 98 percent sulfuric acid is introduced to the wastewater-treatment stream during the nitrification/de-nitrification process. The pumps can handle viscosities in excess of 5,000 cp and pump capacity can be adjusted through the use of a micrometer dial while the pump is running. In addition, the suction lift of the pumps allows users to pull the sulfuric acid as much as 25 feet from tank to tank. The seal-less design of the pumps eliminates the catastrophic breakdowns that can plague other pump types. Pumps that feature seals are prone to product leakage that allows the sulfuric acid to enter the pump’s gearbox.