Leaks or Spills
Spills should be cleaned immediately to prevent the spread of carbon black. Dry vacuuming is the recommended method for collecting spilled carbon black. If a portable cleaner is used, care must be taken to ensure that filters are maintained. A central vacuum system should be considered for routine housekeeping and the clean-up of localized process leaks. The collector serving the central vacuum should be located outdoors. If it is necessary to clean a remote or small spill by dry sweeping, care should be taken not to disperse the carbon black into the air. Carbon black is not easily wetted and water may cause spilled material to disperse, so water sprays and wetting are not recommended for cleaning. Should this method be used, however, caution should be exercised since wet carbon black makes walking surfaces very slippery.
Carbon black, with the exception of chemically treated and water dispersible carbon black grades, is appropriately and most often disposed of in landfills. (Check with your local regulatory agency or your carbon black supplier for current requirements on the disposal of chemically treated and water dispersible carbon black grades.) Carbon black is non-toxic and will not leach or release any constituents to the groundwater from a landfill. Carbon black has a very high surface area and a strong adsorptive capacity. Organic materials that come in contact with carbon black can be adsorbed and are not easily liberated thereafter. Carbon black is not biodegradable. Carbon black can also be used as an alternative fuel for kilns, or can be incinerated (adequate residence time and oxygen content needs to be provided to assure that complete combustion occurs), since it has approximately the same heat value (BTUs) per pound as pulverized coal and will combust completely with low emissions and virtually no residual ash. Both above mentioned alternatives are environmentally suitable disposal methods, assuming they are in accordance with national, state, provincial and local regulations. Care should always be taken with disposal actions to control dust emissions during the pick-up, transportation and subsequent depositing of waste material at the landfill site or during other disposal activities.
Commercial carbon black is not classified as a hazardous material by the following agencies:
- Canadian Transport of Dangerous Goods Regulations
- European Transport of Dangerous Goods Regulations
- International Air Transport Association (IATA)
- United Nations (no UN number)
- U.S. Department of Transportation
Specific questions regarding transport classification should be referred to your carbon black supplier.