Atmospheric Releases Of Formaldehyde From Electroless Copper Plating Operations


The objective of this project was to assist the electroplating and surface finishing industry identify and solve specific problems with completion of Form R - a required annual emissions report to the U.S. EPA. A 'problem' often encountered is the uncertainty in emissions estimates for a combination of a process (e.g., electroless copper plating) and a release (e.g., air releases of formaldehyde) leading to an error in Form R. Because the majority of environmental releases (liquid and residuals) are subject to some form of monitoring, specific data are usually available to support completion of Form R. The principal exception to this generalization concerns air emissions, which are typically not monitored nor well characterized. The process selected for field characterization in this study was electroless copper plating. The sampling effort involved simultaneous quantification of fugitive emissions of formaldehyde (HCHO), and emissions of HCHO through existing tank ventilation systems that connect to a stack. The results of this research indicate that only about 10% of the formaldehyde purchased becomes an atmospheric release, with the dominant loss being consumptive reactions in the plating bath. The stack and fugitive losses of formaldehyde are of about equal magnitude. A predictive model for atmospheric releases was developed. Total (uncontrolled) emissions from the three plants evaluated ranged from about 20 to about 160 pounds per year per plant.

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Proceedings of the AESF Annual Technical Conference

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Article; Proceedings Paper



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0027812131 (Scopus)

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