Matt Martz
| NASF Education Director
(202) 527-0252

Pollution Prevention

Course Options

The course consists of 10 lessons. Students successfully completing the exam will be given credit towards the Master Surface Finishers (MSF) certification. While it is not necessary to take any course to be eligible to sit for the respective exam that could lead you to becoming a Master Surface Finisher (MSF), this course covers one of the optional subject areas for qualifying to obtain MSF certification.

Intended Audience

This training program is designed to be beneficial for operators and supervisors of job shop and captive shops performing metal finishing operations such as electroplating and or anodizing. The course can also benefit sales personnel at pollution abatement suppliers.


The goal of this course is to provide the student with a broad range of information related to methods of preventing pollution by employing good operating practices, recycling or substitution.


At the conclusion of this course, attendees should:

1. Best Operating Practices
This lesson covers the types of operational practices that can have a significant impact on the generation of waste. Topics covered include analytical control of solutions, filtration design, anode bagging, drag-out reduction methods, ventilation designs that minimize energy loss, good rinse designs, how to minimize drag out in barrel plating and good housekeeping.
2. Pollution Prevention for Acids and Cleaners
This lesson discusses means by which the metal finisher can increase the life of acids and cleaners. Topics include low emission vapor degreasers, extending the life of cleaners with lipophilic filtration, use of inhibitors in acids, acid substitution, biological cleaners and operational changes that keeps cleaners and acids functioning at peak efficiency.
3. Pollution Prevention and Ion Exchange
This lesson details how ion exchange works and provides guidance as to choice of equipment and resin for a given task. Column technology, regeneration issues and cost of operation with various types of resins is covered.
4. Electrolytic Recovery Systems
This lesson provides information on electrolytic systems for recovering the metal from spent process solutions and rinses. High and low surface area systems are covered as well as cutting edge systems such as high speed rotating cathode systems. A brief comparison between DC and pulse rectification in electrolytic
recovery is also given.
5. Evaporative Recovery Systems
This lesson covers the various evaporative recovery systems, including atmospheric, vacuum, cold vaporization and vapor recompression technologies.
6. Reverse Osmosis and Other Membrane-based Recovery Systems
This lesson provides information on high- and low-pressure reverse osmosis systems. Also covered are recovery systems employing electrodialysis, diffusion dialysis, ultrafiltration, nano-filtration and micro-filtration for the recovery of cleaners and acids.
7. Pollution Prevention in Plating Processes
This lesson discusses how a plating process can be operated and/or modified to minimize waste generation. Topics include substitution of less polluting plating solutions, continuous purification of hard chromium plating solutions, and contamination control. A special focus is given to pollution prevention ideas for electroless nickel and electroless copper.
8. Pollution Prevention in Aluminum Finishing
This lesson discusses technologies and operational changes that can be employed on anodizing lines. Extending the life of the anodizing process using acid sorption, ion exchange or diffusion dialysis is covered, as is crystallization to extend the life of caustic etchants. Substitutes for type I (chromic acid) anodizing are also discussed.
9. Pollution Prevention for Stripping Operations
This lesson will provide a few suggestions in select stripping operations where pollution prevention technologies may be viable.
10. Alternatives to Electroplating
Alternatives such as physical vapor deposition, HVOF Spray, Plasma Spray and Sputter Ion Plating are covered in this lesson. For each technology advantages and disadvantages are provided.