Clean solvents are critical for parts washing and cleaning applications because the cleaner the solvent, the better job it will do removing contaminants from the parts that your company is manufacturing.
What is a Clean Solvent?
When organic solvents are initially purchased, they are “clean” or free of contaminants (waste) that the solvent will pick up in a parts washing or cleaning application.
This clean or virgin solvent can continue to be used until the solvent becomes saturated and cannot absorb any additional waste. At that point, the dirty solvent will either need to be replaced with virgin solvent or recycled for re-use.
Purchasing virgin solvents can be expensive, as well as properly disposing contaminated solvents. For a parts washing or cleaning application, a practical solution is to recycle and recover your solvent by converting contaminated solvent into clean solvent through distillation.
Solvent recycled/recovered by distillation will be clean. The recovered solvent will have adequate concentration to perform well in parts washing and cleaning applications.
Depending on the solvent being processed, it may pick up water and form an azeotrope. The water will be present at a controlled level (depending on the solvent capacity itself). In general, water is the “contaminant” that will be found in the recycled/recovered solvent. If less water is preferred, a desiccant can be used with the solvent to carry away much of the water.
In summary, recycling/recovering your solvent will yield a “clean” solvent product; one that will have sufficient concentration to perform in your parts washing and cleaning applications.