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printech, February, 2002
Re: Solvent Reclaim/Recycle

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From: Gary Jones (gjonesprinting@aol.com )
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2002 23:12:33

I am not sure how tell you what the best approach to use in reclaiming your press solvents. Part of the answer lies in what you intend to do with the recovered solvent. If you plan to use the solvents for noncritical cleaning applications such as in a parts washer, simple filtration would be sufficient. If you want to use the solvents for critical cleaning applications, I would suggest a distillation/recovery technique.

From a technical perspective, if the press solvents contain water, then using a microwave approach may be better. It is reported that the microwave approach can break emulsions between solvents and water, but I am not certain if it will separate azeotropes. It would be best to send out samples to the different vendors to see how well their systems work for your solvents.

Of course, you also have to take into account the economic factors associated with the different recovery techniques. The costs of some of these systems can be substantial and you need to use the one that makes the most economic sense.

 In using a distillation/recovery technique care must be taken to ensure that the recovered solvents are acceptable for your application. Depending upon the solvent used in your process, they may be physically altered or changed. The ratio of ingredients may also be altered as well. Nevertheless, recovering and reusing solvents is an excellent approach to reduce pollution.

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