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Maratek Environmental Blog

What is a solvent?

Posted by Colin Darcel

Sep 30, 2013 5:57:00 PM

Maratek Environmental is a leading manufacturer of solvent recycling and solent recovery equipment. In addition, Maratek can collect waste solvent solutions from businesses in the southern ontario region and process the solvent for either reuse or disposal.

Maratek Solvent Equipment and Processing Lab and Solvent RecyclingToday we thought demystifying some of the facts about solvents would make an interesting post for our blog this week.  Therefore we have done some research to bring you the facts behind solvents ... what they are and what they are used for.

solvent (from the Latin solvō, "I loosen, untie, I solve") is a substance that dissolves a solute (a chemically different liquid, solid or gas), resulting in a solution.

A solvent is usually a liquid but can also be a solid or a gas. The maximum quantity of solute that can dissolve in a specific volume of solvent varies with temperature.

Common uses fororganic solvents are in dry cleaning (e.g., tetrachloroethylene), as paint thinners (e.g., toluene, turpentine), as nail polish removers and glue solvents (acetone, methyl acetate,ethyl acetate), in spot removers (e.g., hexane, petrol ether), in detergents (citrus terpenes), in perfumes (ethanol), nail polish and in chemical synthesis. The use of inorganicsolvents (other than water) is typically limited to research chemistry and some technological processes.

The global solvent market is expected to earn revenues of about US$33 billion in 2019. The dynamic economic development in emerging markets like China, India, Brazil, orRussia will especially continue to boost demand for solvents. Specialists expect the worldwide solvent consumption to increase at an average annual rate of 2.5% over the next years. Accordingly, the growth rate seen during the past eight years will be surpassed.

Physical properties of common solvents

Properties table of common solvents

The solvents are grouped into non-polar, polar aprotic, and polar protic solvents and ordered by increasing polarity. The polarity is given as the dielectric constant. The properties of solvents that exceed those of water are bolded.

SolventChemical formulaBoiling point[8]Dielectric constant[9]DensityDipole moment
Non-polar solvents
Pentane CH3-CH2-CH2-CH2-CH3 36 °C 1.84 0.626 g/ml 0.00 D
Cyclopentane C5H10 40 °C 1.97 0.751 g/ml 0.00 D
Hexane CH3-CH2-CH2-CH2-CH2-CH3 69 °C 1.88 0.655 g/ml 0.00 D
Cyclohexane C6H12 81 °C 2.02 0.779 g/ml 0.00 D
Benzene C6H6 80 °C 2.3 0.879 g/ml 0.00 D
Toluene C6H5-CH3 111 °C 2.38 0.867 g/ml 0.36 D
1,4-Dioxane /-CH2-CH2-O-CH2-CH2-O-\ 101 °C 2.3 1.033 g/ml 0.45 D
Chloroform CHCl3 61 °C 4.81 1.498 g/ml 1.04 D
Diethyl ether CH3-CH2-O-CH2-CH3 35 °C 4.3 0.713 g/ml 1.15 D
Polar aprotic solvents
Dichloromethane (DCM) CH2Cl2 40 °C 9.1 1.3266 g/ml 1.60 D
Tetrahydrofuran (THF) /-CH2-CH2-O-CH2-CH2-\ 66 °C 7.5 0.886 g/ml 1.75 D
Ethyl acetate CH3-C(=O)-O-CH2-CH3 77 °C 6.02 0.894 g/ml 1.78 D
Acetone CH3-C(=O)-CH3 56 °C 21 0.786 g/ml 2.88 D
Dimethylformamide (DMF) H-C(=O)N(CH3)2 153 °C 38 0.944 g/ml 3.82 D
Acetonitrile (MeCN) CH3-C≡N 82 °C 37.5 0.786 g/ml 3.92 D
Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) CH3-S(=O)-CH3 189 °C 46.7 1.092 g/ml 3.96 D
Propylene carbonate C4H6O3 240 °C 64.0 1.205 g/ml 4.9 D
Polar protic solvents
Formic acid H-C(=O)OH 101 °C 58 1.21 g/ml 1.41 D
n-Butanol CH3-CH2-CH2-CH2-OH 118 °C 18 0.810 g/ml 1.63 D
Isopropanol (IPA) CH3-CH(-OH)-CH3 82 °C 18 0.785 g/ml 1.66 D
n-Propanol CH3-CH2-CH2-OH 97 °C 20 0.803 g/ml 1.68 D
Ethanol CH3-CH2-OH 79 °C 24.55 0.789 g/ml 1.69 D
Methanol CH3-OH 65 °C 33 0.791 g/ml 1.70 D
Acetic acid CH3-C(=O)OH 118 °C 6.2 1.049 g/ml 1.74 D
Nitromethane CH3-NO2 100–103 °C 35.87 1.1371 g/ml 3.56 D
Water H-O-H 100 °C 80 1.000 g/ml 1.85 D

 

If you are interested in buying solvent recycling equipment for your in-house solvent recycling needs, or you want to use our solvent recycling services, or you're interested in a partnership with us to establish your own solvent recycling plant, please contact us.

Maratek corporate offices are located in Bolton, Ontario; about 15 minutes north of Toronto. Contact Us at :

Maratek Environmental Inc.
60 Healey Road
Unit 8-10
Bolton, ON
L7E 5A5

Phone: 905.857.2738
Fax: 905.857.2764

Toll Free: 1.800.667.6272

www.maratek.com

Topics: Solvents, Solvent Recycling & Recovery, Waste Disposal & Management

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