Virtually every part that's manufactured needs to be washed before it's ready for use, whether it's a plastic part for a toy or a precise metal part used in an aircraft. During the manufacturing process, some combination of cutting oil, grease and grime is introduced, and removing any of these substances is ultimately required to pass quality-control checks and, most importantly, ensure public safety.
Most hospital, reference and university labs—whether histology, pathology, chemistry, cytology or veterinary—carefully evaluate capital expenditures, which are equipment costs that typically exceed $2,500. Lab managers need to be able to show hospital and university officials who approve capital expenses that these purchases provide long-term value to the organization and substantial economic benefits.
Solvents are a critical component of medical lab work, and running out of a particular solvent can bring your lab to a standstill. Most medical labs work with multiple solvents, so inventory management can become a laborious process. From working with the purchasing department and ensuring that the correct solvents are always available to disposing of solvent waste in ways that are safe, sustainable and legal, the tasks can be very time-consuming.
Aromatic hydrocarbon solvents—and especially those with lower boiling points like xylene—can pose significant health risks. They’re not only toxic, teratogenic and carcinogenic, but also noxious chemicals.
With the right solvent distillation unit, your lab can dramatically reduce how much it spends purchasing solvents and disposing of waste. You may think that spend reduction is the greatest benefit delivered to your lab by solvent recycling, but it’s really only one part of the bigger picture.
As opposed to return on investment (ROI), which is expressed as a percentage that can be used to determine an investment’s profitability, payback period is expressed as a period of time—specifically the amount of time it takes to recoup the cost of an initial investment.
Industrial solvent distillation units—sometimes simply called stills—are so customizable to the exact needs of the end user that looking at unit cost alone is missing the point. What should also be considered is unit value, or how a unit will help you meet your everyday needs and save you money now and in the long run.