Solvent Recycling

C.L.E.A.N. along with its providers are able to provide a recycling service for most types of flammable solvent based wastes, including paints, inks, resins, adhesives and cleaning solvents.

The majority of the flammable solvent wastes are bulked together and sent to our solvent reclamation facilities. Our solvent recycling facilities use various processing units such as vacuum stills, thin layer evaporators, and sieve tray fractionation columns. They are also equipped with specialist “depack” equipment that enable the contents of small drums, tins and bottles to be removed, recovered and where possible recycled. In many cases the packaging can then also be recycled.

The recycled solvents are sold as reclaimed products or returned to the original generator as part of a tolling arrangement. The feasibility of recycling a solvent depends on the existence of a profitable reuse market. If the price of the virgin solvent is already low, it will be very difficult to sell the recycled product for a profit. Also, solvent recycling feasibility decreases as the amount of waste stream contaminants increase.

Solvent waste streams commonly recycled include:

  • Mineral Spirits
  • Solvent Blends
  • Perchloroethylene/Trichloroethylene
  • Methylene Chloride
  • Trichloroethylene
  • Glycol Ether
  • Acetone
  • Ethyl Ketone
  • DBE Glycols

Solvents are recycled by separating them from waste stream contaminants. The separation is accomplished by heating solvents to their boiling points in distillation columns. Solvents unsuitable for recycling are put into fuel blending or incinerated. The unsuitable wastes are blended to a certain specification and are used as support fuel in the cement industry. This fuel has enabled the cement industry to dramatically reduce the quantity of coal used, thus preserving this resource for the future. This method therefore not only allows for waste to be recycled, but also preserves precious virgin materials.