(847) 833-7010

What is MEK solvent?

100% pure butanone, or MEK, short for Methyl Ethyl Ketone, is a solvent for thinning specified coatings – particularly gums, resins, cellulose acetate and nitrocellulose coatings, and vinyl films. MEK is widely used in industrial manufacturing applications, for example in the manufacture of plastics, textiles, and paraffin wax. It can be utilized as a plastic bonding agent that holds the different properties together, cementing them to one another. It is an effective and versatile solvent: it forms an azeotrope with water, making it useful for azeotropic distillation of moisture in certain applications.

Why should you recycle MEK?

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), methyl ethyl ketone can cause “irritation to the eyes, nose and throat”. It’s critical to save or recycle methyl ethyl ketone solvent whenever possible. Leftover methyl ethyl ketone can be stored in a sealable container and sent to a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act approved incinerator, but this is more costly and potentially hazardous alternative to on-site solvent recycling, which is outlined below.

MEK Solvent Recycling Options

On-site recycling

Solvent Recycling Systems manages MEK solvent recycling services at your facility, so you avoid expensive regulatory costs and speed up operation within your facility. What’s more, on-site solvent recycling is much more affordable today than ever before. Facilities of all sizes, with any waste stream, can now use solvent recyclers.  You can customize an on-site solvent recycling program that meets your requirements – with direct installation and operational training for your staff. All of the components of the recycler are cleaned and adjusted to prevent the risk of contamination, discoloration, leaks or spills. And because of Solvent Recycling Systems’ IoT-enablement, operations manager are sent alerts when MEK solvent is running out, so there’s no need to maintain a larger inventory of solvents to cover utilization between visits.

Off-site recycling

Off-site disposal methods are best if your waste stream is very small and the amount of waste does not justify more in-depth on-site recovery methods. Off-site disposal is convenient because the waste stream is handled by specialists, but there are a number of risks associated with managing MEK solvent offsite, including increased risk of spills and the burden of liability for every drum of waste that leaves your facilities from cradle-to-grave.

For more information on MEK solvent and Solvent recovery equipment, contact us today.