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Spent hardening salt is a potentially hazardous waste in which of the following processes?

(a) Hardening of steel

(b) Hardening of rock salt

(c) Hardening of gold

(d) Hardening of coal

I got this question during an internship interview.

This intriguing question comes from Treatment of Hazardous Wastes topic in chapter Biotechnology for Solid Waste Management of Environmental Biotechnology

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Right answer is (a) Hardening of steel

To explain I would say: Hardening of steel generates a hazardous waste i.e. Spent hardening salt, cyanide, nitrate and nitrate sludge which is very much hazardous to the environment and human health, so, it should be disposed of properly. But Hardening of rock salt, hardening of gold, hardening of coal doesn’t produce the wastes listed above because of different processing.

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