Recycling of organic solvents

Water in its own right is a solvent and on our Planet, is the main solvent for suspended and dissolved solids. However Organic Solvents are volatile compounds usually used as an alternative to water and keep other actives in the suspended phase without separating out.

The most common Organic Solvents in every day applications include:

  • Turpentine, used in pain thinners and for cleaning gloss paints
  • Acetone – a commonly used chemical in many industries
  • Ethanol – used in the cosmetics industry, particularly in perfumes
  • Ethyl Acetate used in Glues, such as the Super-Glues

In addition throughout industry there is a diverse range of applications for solvents including:

Car manufacturing, man-made fibres, paints, varnishes, paper, inks, glass, polyurethane, metal laminates, lubricants and additives, resins and pigments; also from the solvent transportation and distribution sector, pharmaceutical and laboratory industries, printing processes and graphic arts, chemical industries in general, etc.

If corrected treated post production, many third parties will buy back the solvent for either re-working or as a fuel source in Combined Heat & Power (CHP) plants. However, in most cases the initial Organic Solvent waste material, post production, has no or little value due to the contaminants that they collect, such as gloss paint or metals including lead and mercury.

To ensure that the Organic Solvent has some value for the client, Condorchem Envitech will initially undertake laboratory testing to evaluate the amount of solvent recoverability. Should this prove successful then working with the client Condorchem Envitech can undertake on site trials to access the full potential for recovering the Organic Solvent.

The most common sustainable and economic solution for Organic Solvent recovery is Distillation. Raw material is fed into a Still and under vacuum to assist in lowering the temperature, heat is applied to warm up the mix. Depending on the level of contaminants in the initial raw material, the temperature and vacuum pressure can be adjusted so that the primary objective of recovering the solvent is achieved.

By heating up the mix and distilling off the solvent a concentrate is left behind. It might also be that this remaining material in the still can also be recover and after assessment send to a high temperature incineration site, such as the cement industry. Again, using our years of experience, Condorchem Envitech will assess the possibilities for the disposal of both streams with the client.

For further information on our Distilling Systems please use the link below

If you would like any further information on this or any of the other systems Condorchem is able to supply, please do not hesitate to contact us via the various link pages on our website.