What is the Solvent Recycling Process?

Blog Solvent RecyclingThe solvent recycling industry emerged in the early 2000s thanks to advancements in technology. The process involves reusing processed solvents to create new solutions or products, offering numerous benefits for manufacturers and the environment. 

Solvent recycling is widely used in many countries, including the USA, Canada, UK, Mexico, Vietnam, China, and Australia. 

In this article, we will explore the different methods of solvent recycling, the advantages of each method, and Maratek's role as an industry leader in solvent recycling and recovery.

What is Solvent Recycling?

Solvent recycling is the process of recovering and reusing processed solvents. 

It is used in various industries, such as hand sanitizer, alcohol, and other solvent-based products. Solvent waste can be altered back into a virgin-like solvent, which can be used for manufacturing different products or solutions. 

The process is not only cost-effective but also environmentally friendly, as it reduces the amount of hazardous waste that needs to be disposed of.

Methods of Solvent Recycling and Their Advantages 

Solvent recycling can be performed using a wide range of technology that can be fully automatic or manually operated. The advancements in technology have allowed the solvent recycling industry to be innovative with implementing different methods of recovery the solvents for future use.

These methods are all a part of a process called distillation, which is a process that involves the conversion of a liquid into a vapor through boiling and condensing the substance back into liquid form through cooling. 

Distillation can be performed using different processes, such as:

Simple Distillation

Simple distillation is the separation of a liquid from a solid-liquid solution. It is ideal for mixtures containing one volatile component, as it is more energy-efficient and cost-effective. 

The advantages of using simple distillation vs fractional distillation is that it is much more energy efficient and effective for mixtures containing one volatile. This is because in simple distillation, it does not boil mixtures that contain two volatile components with similar boiling points. Simple distillation can also be seen as a cheaper option for industries to use as fractional distillation costs significantly more. 

Fractional Distillation 

Fractional distillation, the most popular method of distillation, separates a liquid from a solution of two miscible liquids. In fractional distillation, the advantages are that it does a more efficient job at separating mixtures into their respective compounds at a higher quality. 

This is because the fractional distillation process has “theoretical plates” that the vapors can condense, re-evaporate, and re-condense. Thus, meaning fractional distillation distills the compound several times before creating the highest quality product. You can find fractional distillation in industries such as petroleum refineries, chemical plants, and natural gas processing. 

Steam and Vacuum Distillation

Steam and vacuum distillation are other alternatives to the popular methods of distillation. These alternatives provide benefits that simple and fractional distillation cannot provide, for example, in steam distillation, it has the ability to generate organic solvent-free products, energy efficient, and inexpensive. 

Vacuum distillation is effective for distilling heavier objects as it does a much more effective job at being gentle with the volatile compounds. It distills the compound at a lower temperature than that would be required at atmospheric pressure to avoid thermal cracking of the components.  

Maratek Solvent Recycling Process

Maratek is an industry award winner in the solvent recycling and recovery industry. With over 50 years of experience, Maratek offers innovative technology in its solvent recovery machinery with the help of their world class engineers. 

Maratek offers a wide variety of products to help recover different solvents including

Maratek Services and Programs

Maratek also offers services and programs, such as the "Share the Savings” program and recycling services, for companies that may not have the capital to purchase their equipment outright. 

The Share the Savings program allows companies to rent the equipment at a mutually agreed-upon price each month, while Maratek takes care of the equipment installation and maintenance. Companies can share 50/50 of the recovered solvents, resulting in significant savings.

Meanwhile, Maratek's recycling services help companies recycle their waste properly according to Ontario's hazardous waste protocols. The process involves requesting a definition of liquid waste or solvent, identifying it as a transportable waste, sampling the waste, scheduling a pickup, using the appropriate recovering machine, and scheduling a pickup and thermal decomposition process if the waste is deemed disposable.

Industries served by Maratek include coatings and paint, printing and packaging, automotive, transportation/asphalt, aerospace, pharmaceutical, oil/gas, and electrical. By providing cost-effective and efficient solutions for solvent recycling and recovery, Maratek helps companies save money and reduce their environmental impact.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today to receive a free quote on your potential savings!

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