Aerosolv® Expertise

Our FAQs list some of the most common questions regarding the System, its Maintenance and Recycling. The Drum and Rules sections are important to understand for safety and compliance.

Aerosolv® FAQs

The System:
How long does it take to puncture cans with Aerosolv®?

It only takes 15-20 seconds for the can to be depleted after puncturing. The Aerosolv® system has the capability to puncture as many as 500 on a one-man eight hour shift.

Will the Puncturing Unit accept any size aerosol can?

The system is designed to puncture any industry standard aerosol can, regardless of length. Special gaskets are available for smaller diameter cans.

How does the filter work?

It is composed of two parts: a coalescing lower portion and an activated carbon upper portion. The coalescing portion collects microscopic airborne liquids from the gas and combines them into droplets which collect within the filter chamber. The activated carbon adsorbs hydrocarbons and removes odor from the dry gas which has passed through the coalescing portion. It effectively reduces VOCs from the escaping gas, resulting in total hydrocarbon emissions 75% less than the 300 ppm desired limitations.

The Maintenance:
What maintenance does the Aerosolv® Puncturing Unit require?

To enhance the longevity of the unit, periodic maintenance should include the replacement of the gasket installed inside the unit that provides a seal against the can and the cleaning/lubricating of the puncture pin. Cleaning the unit where the liquids evacuate to the drum will decrease back-pressure.

When does the filter need to be changed?

Filter life is 9 months or 2,250 cans with changing the Carbon Cartridge (upper portion) twice; cartridge life is 3 months or 750 cans; more frequent change-outs may be necessary based on use. The activated carbon will meet its maximum adsorption at this time and require replacement.

The Recycling:
How much can scrap steel recycling be increased with Aerosolv®?

Generally, four aerosol cans equal one pound of steel. American industry consumes 3 billion aerosol cans per year, amounting to 375,000 tons of steel.

Can the liquids collected into the drums be reclaimed or recycled?

Yes, if chlorinated and non-chlorinated liquids are collected into separate drums. Chlorinated liquids (primarily solvents) can be recycled in-house as parts cleaning solvent; non-chlorinated liquids (primarily paints) can be reclaimed. Either method may qualify for waste minimization credit.

The Drum:
Must Aerosolv® be installed only on 55-gallon drums?

No, all industry standard drums have 2" openings, which is all that is required for an Aerosolv® system to be installed. However, Aerosolv® should not be installed on a drum smaller than 30-gallon capacity to allow proper displacement of compressed gas released during puncturing.

How many spent aerosols can be punctured into a 55-gallon drum?

Approximately 4,000 cans can be punctured before the drum is at maximum recommended capacity. The drum should not be filled more than 75% full to provide proper displacement for released contents.

What do you do with the drum of liquids once it has reached its recommended full capacity?

Simply call the waste handler who handles your other hazardous waste and manifest according to collected contents.

Does a waste-profile sample need to be drawn from each drum, prior to transport by a waste handler?

A waste profile of a worst-case scenario, whereby all known aerosol residuals are listed (excluding pesticides and insecticides). Reputable waste handlers should accept this profile for co-mingled residuals, thus avoiding the expense of profiling the drum. Click here for waste profile information.

Why do the materials listed on the waste profile add up to more than 100%?

Not every material listed on the waste profile will be present in the drum. However, the collected residuals in any combination will not exceed the percentages listed, which are the maximum percentages found in any industrial aerosol product (excluding pesticides, insecticides and caustics).

What does it cost to dispose of the collected liquids in the drum?

Hazardous waste handler will charge from $275 to $360 per 55-gallon drum (estimated) for proper transportation and recycling, reclamation and/or disposal. This represents the total disposal cost for the residual liquids of 4,000 spent aerosol cans. The solid waste disposal cost of unpunctured aerosol cans averages $625 per 125 cans. On a direct comparison of 4,000 spent cans, the cost savings with Aerosolv® ranges from $20,000.

Does any compressed gas remain in the drum?

The compressed gas seeks escape through the point of least resistance, which is the filter. However, a minimal amount of gas may remain in the drum. To effectively maintain a prolonged seal, leave the last can punctured within the Aerosolv® housing until the next time puncturing is resumed.

Can pressure build in the drum?

The filter relieves at 3 psi, eliminating the possibility of unsafe pressure within the drum. Additionally, the activated carbon portion of the filter was designed to serve as a secondary flame arrestor.

The Rules:
Are there any aerosols that should not be co-mingled when collecting into the drum?

Yes, caustics (such as oven cleaners) and pesticides or insecticides should not be collected into a drum with other liquid residuals. They can, however be collected into segregated single-content drums designated "pesticides only," "insecticides only," or "caustics only." Also, white metals-typically labeled as "cold galvanized" should be separated and not co-mingled with any other aerosol residuals.

Are all aerosols considered hazardous waste?

Yes, but not because of the primary product they contain. Spent aerosol cans would be considered empty, and therefore exempt from regulation, were it not for the fact that the propellant compressed gas is reactive to heat and is still present in an empty can (40 CFR 261.23 (a) (6)).

Is the puncturing of aerosol cans with Aerosolv® considered treatment?

No; however, according to the EPA's Office of Solid Waste, a steel aerosol can that does not contain a significant amount of liquid (e.g., a can that has been punctured and drained) would meet the definition of scrap metal (40 CFR 261.1(c) (6)), and, if it is to be recycled, would be exempt from regulation under 40 CFR 261.6(a) (3) (iv). Scrap metal that is recycled is exempt from RCRA regulation under this provision even if it is hazardous waste, so generators need not make a hazardous waste determination. Read the complete rule here.

Does the procedure require any permitting from the Air Quality Control Board?

No, permitting is only required when processing 15 pounds or more per day, which is not the case with the Aerosolv® system. Permitting generally applies to gas-filling facilities: welding gases, large gas cylinders, etc.

Why is the anti-static wire necessary?

There is an OSHA requirement for grounding of vessels to prevent any build-up of the static electricity transferred to a drum discharge when transferring flammable liquids or gases. The anti-static wire grounds the drum and the Aerosolv® unit simultaneously.

How should the carbon filters be disposed?

Due to the variety of chemicals used in aerosol cans, some of which are hazardous, fully saturated carbon filters should be considered hazardous waste unless independently tested to the EPA's guidelines and proven non-hazardous. Please dispose of in accordance to local, state, and Federal laws and check with authorities having jurisdiction.

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