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What is beneficial reuse? How does it apply to spent caustics?
“Beneficial reuse” is defined by the EPA as reusing a material in a manner that makes it a valuable commodity. Spent caustics are generally byproducts of a refinery or chemical process that would ordinarily be treated as wastes. When beneficially reused without reclamation, the spent caustics are exempt from the solid waste definition and are categorized as a product (or valuable commodity) under the EPA regulations.

What does beneficial reuse mean to Merichem?
Beneficial reuse describes Merichem’s use of spent caustics as an ingredient in an industrial process to make a product, or as an effective substitute for commercial products, without reclamation. Beneficial reuse also fits within the Guiding Principles of the American Chemistry Council’s Responsible Care® initiative. Merichem is a long-standing member of the American Chemistry Council, and shares a common commitment to the continuous improvement in environmental, health, safety, and security performance with respect to chemical products and processes. The Guiding Principles include the recycling of products.

What value does beneficial reuse create for Merichem’s customers?
Merichem’s beneficial reuse of the spent caustic, without reclamation, is a sustainable and more environmentally friendly alternative to disposing of the material as a waste. As such, these materials are no longer a part of a customer’s waste generation statistics or reporting.

Are there quality specifications for spent caustic? Does my product qualify?
Merichem determines the quality specifications for spent caustics it will accept for beneficial reuse. A product will qualify if it meets the quality specifications, as measured by Merichem analytical methods.

How does Merichem apply the Responsible Care® concept to its spent caustics operations?
Merichem endeavors to be a good steward under Responsible Care® by working closely with its suppliers and its end users. Merichem identifies supplier spent caustics with appropriate quality specifications so that the spent caustics can be sustainably and beneficially reused in the end users’ operations as a substitute for a commercial product or as an ingredient in a manufacturing process under the EPA regulations.