Heavy Metals Characterization of Sludge from a Philippine Recycling Paper Mill


Lorraine A. Carrillo(1*), Susan M. Gallardo(2)

(1) Asian Regional Research Program on Environmental De La Salle University-Manila 2401 TaftAvenue, 1004 Manila, PHILIPPINES
(2) Asian Regional Research Program on Environmental De La Salle University-Manila 2401 TaftAvenue, 1004 Manila, PHILIPPINES
(*) Corresponding Author


Wastewater treatment sludge, which is the largest volume residual waste stream generated by the pulp and paper industry, is generally disposed of in a dedicated landfill. Composting the sludge is an alternative method proposed by the Asian Regional Research Program on Environmental Technology-De La Salle University (ARRPET-DLSU) Minor Issue Group. The Philippine Department of Agriculture's (DA) standards for an organic fertilizer's maximum allowable content of heavy metals provided the legislative regulation for the conversion of sludge to compost. The research was designed to characterize the sludge samples from TIPCO, a Philippine paper-recycling mill, and establish whether the sludge contained the heavy metals cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, nickel, and zinc using atomic absorption spectrophotometer (MS). Sampling was done for four weeks during newsprint and white paper production. Three discharge terminals were established as sampling points. The samples showed that the metal content of the sludge vary from point to point and was highest throughout the manufacture of white paper. Chromium, mercury, and nickel, however, were nondetectable in all the samples, while cadmium was detectable only in very few samples. Lead and zinc were present at all three points and were highest at the de inking sludge. Comparing the results with Part 503 of the United States EPA and the DA's guidelines for organic fertilizers yield significantly lower parameter values. Composting the sludge was, therefore, found to be a feasible option for recycling paper-mill sludge since the metal content were very low compared to local and international standards.


Composting, deinking, heavy metals, pulp-and-paper recycling mill, sludge, and wastewater

Full Text:



  1. Bajpai, P., Bajpai, P. K., and Kondo, R. (1999). *Management of wastewater treatment sludges," Biotechnology for environmental protection in the pulp and paper industry, Springer-Verlag, Berlin/ Heidelberg, Germany.
  2. Bantayan, R., and Razal, R. A. (2001, October). "Status of environmental protection and control in philippine pulp and paper mills," Inpaper International.
  3. Barry, G. A., Gardner, E. A., Rayment, G. E., and Bloesch, P. M. (1998). Recycling organic materials on agricultural lands, Department of Natural Resources and CRC for Sustainable Sugar Production
  4. Conservatree. "Environmentally sound paper overview: Essential issues," Part Il-Making Paper: Content. Online: http://www.conservatree.Com/learn/ Essentiallssues/ElPaperContents/ shtml. Accessed: 12 January 2003.
  5. Gallo, J., and Gallardo, S. M. (2002, October). "Assessment of pulp and paper industry discharges in the Philippines." Chemical Engineering Congress, Manila.
  6. MacGuire, F (1997, November). Paper recycling-Exposing the myths. Briefing Paper, Friends of the Earth Ltd., London, England.
  7. McKinney, R. W.J. (1995, January). Technology of paper recycling, Blackie Academic & Professional, London, England.
  8. Medvitz, A. (1998, January 21-22). "Sludge, sludge on the range: Unresolved science in the 503 Regulations." The 1998 California Plant and Soil Conference: Agricultural Challenges in an Urbanizing State, California Chapter of American Society of Agronomy and California Fertilizer Association.
  9. Obcemea, W. N. (2001, August 31). "Technical requirements and potential markets of compost." National Solid Waste Commission, Seminar on Ecological Solid Waste Management, Pasig City.
  10. Rios, A. T. (2001, May 23-25). "Overview of the paper industry." Pulp and Paper Manufacturers Association, 5th International Workshop on the Use of Paper Industry Sludges in Environmental Geo-Technology and Construction, Makati City.
  11. U.P. Business Research Foundation, Inc. (1990, February). "Study on waste paper recovery," Executive Summary.
  12. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (1994). SW-846: Test methods for evaluating solid wastes, Physical chemical methods, vol. 2, 3rd ed., Washington, D.C. Online: http://www.greatescapesmotors.com/ members/sosan/Sops/SW846SOPS.html. Accessed: 20 February 2002.
  13. U.S.Environmental Protection Agency Part 503. Online:http://www.users.erols.com/ taylew/503.html. Also: http:// www.epa.gov/docs/epacfr40/chapt-I.info/
  14. Webb, L. (1996, November). "A host of options available for sludge," Pulp and Paper International, 44-8.
  15. Wiseman, N., Rook, M. J., Guillet, F., and Muratore, E. (1999, March). "The composition of deinking sludges arising from paper recycling, and implications for filler recovery," Das Papier, T36-T39.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22146/ajche.50839

Article Metrics

Abstract views : 1922 | views : 1339


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ASEAN Journal of Chemical Engineering  (print ISSN 1655-4418; online ISSN 2655-5409) is published by Chemical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Gadjah Mada.