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Final Report for Verification of the Metal Finishing Facility Pollution Prevention Tool
Final Report for Verification of the Metal Finishing Facility Pollution Prevention Tool (MFFPPT) (85 pp, 692 KB) (EPA/600/R-07/067) April 2007

EPA has prepared a computer process simulation package for the metal finishing industry. The package enables users to predict process outputs based on process inputs and other operating conditions. This report documents the development of the process simulations package, calculations methodologies used in the simulation, verification of the model, and its ability to simulate metal finishing processes.

The process simulation package has been built using:

  • Microsoft’s Visual C++ Version 8, also known as Microsoft Visual C++ 2005
  • The C++ extensions to the Common Language Infrastructure (C++/CLI)
  • The Microsoft .Net Framework Version 2.0

In addition, the process simulation package supports the CAPE-OPEN computer-aided processes engineering (CAPE) open interface standards. Through the use of the CAPE-OPEN standards, the process simulator has been shown to interoperate with third-party process simulation components and can be used as a general chemical process simulation package.

The metal finishing process modeling components were developed as an add-in package for the process simulator. The add-in package includes models of a generalized plating tank, rinse tank, and models of alkaline cleaning, acid cleaning, and electrocleaning processes. The model conducts material for each process operation modeled and conducts other calculations as needed to model the changes to the part and process stream. The calculations performed include aqueous ionic speciation, plate thickness, and air emissions from each of the process tanks.

Model verification involved documenting a local plating facility’s plating process and collecting samples of the plating line processes to compare the results of the model with the observed conditions present in the plating facility. A process simulation of the plating facility was performed using the available process flow and composition data. The results of this simulation were compared with the conditions observed within the facility. Comparison of the MFFPPT model outputs with the observed concentration indicate that the available level of detail known about a typical plating system is lacking. In addition, time-dependent processes, such as static rinses, were not modeled well by the steady-state approach of this package.

Use of a process simulation-based tool such as this would require more in-depth process data, such as detailed disclosure of plating solution compositions and more accurate flow measuring devices within the facility than is typically available in a small plating facility.


William Barrett

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