Printech Archive
Re: BACT For Ink Jet Printing

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Date: Sun Nov 30 1997 - 19:41:05 CST

There was an inquiry posted last month regarding BACT for solvent-based ink
jet printing systems. The choices of technology are limited by both type of
printing and where the ink jetting will be occurring. In lithographic
printing, ink jetting can be performed either in line on a web printing line
or as a part of several different types of bindery operations. Ink jet
printing of this nature is usually used to customize individual printed
products such as direct mail, catalogs, and magazines.

The choice of BACT for in-line ink jet printing on web presses is limited.
Several web printers have attempted to use water-based inks, but found that
the press had to be slowed down to an unacceptable speed and thus were
rejected. The option for add-on controls seems limited as there does not
appear to be any system on the market for these operations. The only other
option would be to possibly substitute the solvent, which is typically
methanol or methyl ethyl ketone with solvent that would not be either a VOC,
HAP, or ODS. The only real choice would be acetone. However, acetone-based
systems are not commercially available and using inks based on this solvent
could introduce other hazards such as fire/explosion and the generation of an
F-listed hazardous waste stream.

For ink jet systems used in bindery operations, there appears to another
choice which involves the use of a solvent recovery system. To the best of my
knowledge, there is only one company which offers this type of system and it
is Quad/Tech International based in Sussex, WI. Their phone number is
414/246-7500. According to information presented by Quad/Tech, there system
is capable of recovering between 60-80% of the solvent used in the printing
system. The recovery system does not capture emissions from the print heads,
only the ink supply tank and vent line. It does not appear that the recovery
system has not been evaluated for all solvents. It is reported to work on ink
jet inks using methyl ethyl ketone and poly-alcohol. I have not seen any
actual data from any tests conducted with the recovery system. I have
requested a copy of the data. Nevertheless, it appears that there is a
recovery system that could be evaluated.

If there are any more questions, please contact me at 412/741-6860 x608

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