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What solvents for parts washers are environmentally friendly?

When prioritizing options that have reduced environmental impact, such as lower toxicity, lower emissions, and better biodegradability, take a look at these solvent types that are often considered more environmentally friendly:

  1. Bio-Based Solvents: Bio-based solvents are derived from renewable resources such as plants, crops, or biomass. These solvents are typically biodegradable and have lower toxicity compared to traditional petroleum-based solvents. Examples include d-limonene, made from citrus fruits, and ethyl lactate, derived from corn.
  2. Modified Alcohols: Modified alcohols, such as terpenes or glycol ethers, are considered greener alternatives. They exhibit lower toxicity and have relatively low volatility. Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and ethanol are also commonly used as environmentally friendly solvents.
  3. Aqueous-Based Solutions: Aqueous-based parts washers use water as the primary cleaning agent, often combined with surfactants and detergents. These solutions are environmentally friendly as they have low toxicity, are non-flammable, and are easily disposed of or treated.
  4. Low-VOC Solvents: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) contribute to air pollution and can have adverse health effects. Opting for solvents with lower VOC content helps minimize environmental impact. Look for low-VOC solvents labeled as such by the manufacturer.
  5. Solvent Blends: Some manufacturers offer solvent blends that combine different solvents to achieve better cleaning performance while minimizing environmental impact. These blends often include a mix of bio-based or modified alcohols, hydrocarbon solvents, or other environmentally friendly components.
  6. Green Seal Certified Products: Look for solvents or cleaning solutions that carry the Green Seal certification. The Green Seal is an independent organization that verifies and certifies products and services that meet stringent environmental standards.
  7. Supercritical Carbon Dioxide (CO2): In some specialized applications, supercritical CO2 is used as a cleaning solvent. Supercritical CO2 is non-toxic, non-flammable, and leaves no residue. It is often used for precision cleaning of sensitive or delicate parts.

When selecting an environmentally friendly solvent for your parts washer, consider factors such as the specific cleaning requirements, compatibility with the parts being cleaned, regulatory compliance, and local environmental regulations. It’s also essential to follow proper handling, disposal, and recycling guidelines for any solvents used in your operations.

Solvent Recycling Systems, LLC