Paint Sludge recycling Turning Paint Sludges into Valueable Products

Author / Editor: AS VISHNOI / Dominik Stephan

Lets face a simple fact: Paint sludge is a hazardous waste that poses serious risk for both health and environment – yet they often an not be avoided in the process industry. Now, after four years of research, Indian experts were to convert paint sludge into industrial primers, that conform to every specification of the user industry...

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Semi finished parts are being spray painted in a factory.
Semi finished parts are being spray painted in a factory.
(Picture: / Corepics VOF)

You just say ‘paint sludge’ and anybody running the paint-shop for an industry or is concerned directly or indirectly to any industrial paint shop will feel disturbed and concerned. It is not because they do not understand what is ‘paint sludge’, but because they know what a big problem it is.

In fact, industrial ‘paint sludge’ is a waste, which cannot be prevented from getting generated, because when any product or component is finished by spray painting with liquid solvent based paint, 20 to 60 per cent paint goes as off-spray waste and gets collected outside the paint-shop in a sludge pit with the help of regularly flowing water stream through the paint booth, either in front of the painter as a water screen or under the floor grating of the paint booth.


Paint Sludge: A Hazardous, Yet Unavoidable Waste

This collected off-sprayed paint churned and mixed with water along with some detackifying chemicals, known as booth additives, is known as ‘paint sludge’. This semi-solid lumpy material is classified as a hazardous waste – because if it is thrown freely anywhere on the ground it deteriorates the fertility of soil badly, and by way of leachates generated by it – the ground water gets polluted. It is not only

harmful for the agricultural land, but also it destroys the flora and fauna of the area wherever it is thrown or disposed off.

To provide respite to the generators of the ‘paint sludge’ against the stringent environmental law, which does not permit exit of the paint sludge’ out of the four walls of the industrial unit where it is generated, Maharani Paints took the challenge to develop a process by which industrial ‘paint sludge’ could be recycled back to a product – which is highly useful, and can be consumed without any hassle by the industry.

Recycling Paint Sludge – A Bumpy Road

Our technology today recycles the ‘paint sludge’ to industrial primers conforming to different parties’ specifications. Establishing the technology The challenge was full of bumps and hurdles and the biggest obstacle was the preoccupied mental blocks against using a recycled product for finishing a new product. Maharani Paints kept on struggling and convincing the people of different industrial houses and after untiring long efforts of more or less two years, they had a breakthrough....