Will water-based “green” technologies replace traditional solvents?

Traditional Solvents vs water basedIt’s an interesting and important question. Over the last few decades there has been a shift to use water-based, ‘green’ technology over traditional solvents in a variety of applications. In order to do our best to preserve the environment, we should definitely incorporate green technology when it can provide a suitable replacement in terms of quality and performance. However, does this mean that the need for traditional solvents will disappear?

The Answer Lies in Performance

The reality at this time is that these green compounds often cannot replace the quality and performance that consumers have come to expect from manufacturers. In the printing industry, consumers expect high-quality graphics, colors, and contrast - that don’t fade or wash away.

As well, paint technology used in the architectural and automotive industry needs to be long-lasting, and able to stand up to UV exposure, wind and weather exposure, cracking, scratching, and fading - and right now the water-based technologies just don’t perform in this way.

As long as consumers in the market demand this level of performance, there will always be a need for traditional solvents, and because of this, there is even a shift back to these traditional solvents for a number of reasons.

‘Green’ solvents also have other drawbacks aside from under-performing. They often cost two to three times more than traditional solvents and can be difficult to distill or recycle. For this reason, many manufacturers who switched to ‘green’ solvents have ended up switching back when they realized that the green alternatives were not yet viable as a replacement for traditional solvents.

Recycling Traditional Solvents

Luckily, traditional solvents can be recycled, often recovering up to 95% of your waste. When you recycle and reuse your waste, you can actually use your solvents up to 10 times, so your purchases of virgin solvent dramatically reduce.

Solvent recycling is for any industries who produce waste such as Printing & Ink, Coatings & Paint, Metal Finishing and Automotive Painting.  There are a variety of systems available, ranging from batch loads to fully automated.

Our Solvent Recycling equipment is also available on a rental plan, with no contracts or upfront costs.  Our rentals are on a fixed monthly rental fee which is guaranteed to save you at least 50% of your overall waste costs.  You can also lease, rent-to-own or purchase the machines outright, making it as easy as possible for you to start saving money.


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