Printech Archive, February, 2000
Re: VOC content/photochemical reactivity

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From: "Richard
Date: Wed Feb 16 2000 - 09:14:37 CST

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Please take note of the safety issues of acetone and methyl acetate.
are extremely flammable and special precautions should be taken in
with products that contain these ingredients. Also, significantly
blanket and roller impacts are associated with acetone.

It doesn't do you any good to reduce your VOC's with these products if
burn down your facility!

Rick Principato
Tower Products

----- Original Message -----
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2000 9:23 AM
Subject: Re: VOC content/photochemical reactivity

> Brian -
> I must have missed the initial message is that you are responding to,
> so I do not know the original question; but here is a partial
> response.
> 1) Heptane is a VOC. It is photochemically reacitve. It has not been
> deemed negligibly reactive by EPA and is not in the list of "exempt
> compounds" in the VOC definition in 40 CFR 51.100. No one has
> ever petitioned EPA to consider heptane as negligibly reactive.
> 2) Acetone and methyl acetate have been deemed negligibly
> reactive by EPA. They are on the list of "exempt compounds" in
> the VOC definiton in 40 CFR 51.100. I believe that most (perhaps
> all, but I am not certain) states also consider these compounds
> negligibly reactive.
> 3) There is a portion of method 24 that deals with quantifying
> "exempt compounds" and subtracting them from total (weight
> fraction) volatile matter content to get weight fraction VOC. See
> section 5.1.3 and equation 24-5 in method 24. (This section of
> method is very similar to the preceding section which deals with
> quantifying water content and subtracting it from total volatile matter
> content.) The language is not perfect, but the intent of this section is
> to provide a way to not count "exempt compounds" as VOC. The
> only references in method 24 to methods for quantifying "exempt
> compounds" are to the ASTM methods for methyl chloroform (1,1,1
> trichloroethane) and methylene chloride. These were two of the
> earliest "exempt compounds". Methylene chloride was never used
> much in coatings. It is frequently used as a paint stripper. Methyl
> chloroform was used in a lot of coatings in the 1980's (and maybe
> into the 1990's), but it is no longer used because it is a stratospheric
> ozone depleter. There are also ASTM methods for acetone and
> methyl acetate, but they are not yet referenced in method 24. There
> is also an ASTM method under development for quantifying tertiary
> butyl acetate. This compound was proposed to be deemed
> negligibly reactive by EPA on September 30, 1999; but final action
> has not yet been taken.
> Dave Salman
> Coatings and Consumer Products Group
> MD - 13
> RTP NC 27711
> (919) 541-0859
> >>> Brian Grochowski <> 02/16/00 01:05am
> >>>
> VOC content determination is probably one of the simplest but most
> confusing
> issues. It seems that everybody and their brother has their own
> definition of what
> is a VOC. Certainly Method 24 is the standard in determining
> volatile content, but
> isn't VOC content based on the volatile content and it's classification
> under 40
> CFR 51.100? 40 CFR 51.100 specifically defines a VOC as a volatile
> organic
> compound (as defined by Method 24) which is photochemically
> reactive. Am I wrong
> to state that a product like heptane which is volatile according to
> Method 24 is
> not a VOC since it is not photochemically reactive? Don't chemicals
> like acetone
> and methyl acetate become delisted as VOC's because of their
> negligible
> photochemical reactivity? Methyl acetate and acetone are clearly
> still volatile
> compounds according to Method 24, but they are not VOC's due to
> negligible
> photochemical reactivity?
> Is my logic incorrect?
> Brian Grochowski

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