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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some common frequently asked questions about our products and services. If your question is not answered or you wish to speak with us, please contact us.

Why recycle chemicals over using off-site disposal services?
Recycling waste solvents on-site is an environmentally sustainable way for you to save money. Instead of scheduling for the waste to be removed and recycled off-site, you can recycle it yourself whenever you desire. Recycling on-site will allow you to re-use your solvent over and over again – saving you from buying new solvent and disposing of the old.
How does the Autofill function work?
The Autofill option allows for completely continuous and automatic recycling. An additional pump is installed to transfer the waste solvent into the unit’s distillation vessel. This pumping process is both continuous and automatic, as it allows for the solvent to be pumped in, distilled, and finally removed from the unit. It is controlled by high level switches and fill sequence timers that are embedded within the software. These timers will ensure the unit is continuously feeding new waste solvent to replace the recycled solvent.
How does the Vacuum function work?
The vacuum option enables the user to separate and recover chemicals that boil at high temperatures. With the vacuum, these chemicals will successfully separate at lower temperatures, reducing the required energy input.
What is the difference between Batch and Continuous recycling?

Batch recycling operates cycle by cycle, whereas continuous recycling will run for as long as it is scheduled for. The batch recycling models will recycle a given number of gallons over a cycle which is approximately the length of an eight hour working shift. Some facilities will choose to run multiple cycles per day, which ultimately doubles or triples their working volume. The batch units are generally smaller, more basic, and require a little bit more manual labor that the continuous models. The continuous models are larger, more automatic, and generally more expensive; however, they have the advantage of running for extended amounts of time since they self-clean and self-fill.

We recommend contacting us to determine the model/ size that would best suit your chemical waste.

Can the Solvent Saver models fill into a drum?
Yes! The Solvent Saver line has been engineered to allow the user to drain the re-useable solvent directly into a 55 gallon drum. This is not only safer, but also reduces the manual labor involved as you will not have to pour solvent from small pales to a large drum. The larger models can also be fitted with level sensors that will turn the system off when the drums are full, and turn on when empty, to eliminate the possibility of having a spill.
How does the operating process work?
Solvent recycling separates solvents using the proven process of distillation. The process is initiated by feeding the waste into the distillation vessel that is fitted with a heating jacket of thermal oil. The thermal oil is heated by one or more electric heaters which brings each individual component in the waste solvent to its boiling point. Pure solvent vapors are then channeled to an air cooled condenser, where it cools into its liquid form. It is then directed to the clean solvent collection drums, where it can be re-used. 
How much manual labor is required?
We have designed our solvent recycling units to require little to no manual labor. The Batch recycling models generally require a little bit more manual labor than the continuous models, however, the larger models in the Solvent Saver Batch family include our unique tilting feature. This prevents the user from exerting any force when removing the waste bags – they will simply slide out as the unit tilts. There are also optional features that make the Solvent Saver models even easier to operate. For example, the autofill and automatic sludge discharge features require no bags, as the machine automatically turns on/off, pumps in waste solvent, and discharges the waste sludge. The scraper removes any sludge build-up inside the machine, allowing the unit to be extremely user-friendly and easy to operate. 
Would the machine require extra personnel to operate it?
No, solvent recycling generally requires little manual labor, existing workers should have no trouble operating it during their working shift. Even the less automated batch recycling units only require about ten minutes of time to load and unload each cycle, which is still very minimal.
What do I do if the machine needs maintenance?
We have a reliable and friendly service team that will help fix any problems that arise. The Solvent Saver Continuous models come with remote Ethernet monitoring, which allows us to remotely access the PLC tablet attached to your solvent saver. We can fix and change any software issues remotely, and any equipment issues in person. Call Maratek at 1 800 667 6272 if you ever encounter any difficulties using our equipment.
How pure is the recovered solvent?
The recovered solvent is generally over 98% pure and is as good as the virgin solvent. We will recycle a sample of your waste solvent in our facility before you purchase or rent our equipment, to provide you with the exact purity of your recovered solvent. The recovered solvent is designed to be re-used by your facility so that you don’t have to purchase new virgin solvent.
Is the residual waste still hazardous?
Generally yes, however our units often produce dry residual waste instead of wet sludge, which can often be disposed of as regular landfill depending on the location’s regulatory agency.
Are recycling units safe?
We take safety very seriously and are always up-to-date on ensuring our units exceed all governing North American safety guidelines. The units are third party MET lab certified to be explosion-proof (Class I Division I Group D).
Are there any regulatory issues with the system?
Storage of hazardous material must is regulated under the Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations, however solvent recycling is not regulated under the RCRA, so you can operate our units without regulation. Some areas may require you notify the RCRA, but the process itself does not require regulation.
Where can I place the system?
The systems are compact and explosion-proof certified; therefore, they can be placed in both hazardous and non-hazardous working areas, as long as local fire guidelines permit. 
How much energy is required by Maratek’s recycling units?
Our equipment produces very low emissions as they are built with all the latest technology to minimize their required energy input. The larger units are also engineered to recover heat from the feed stock, which is used to heat up the distillation vessel. This further reduces the unit’s energy consumption. Facilities should discuss with us or their local regulatory agency, as energy codes may vary from location to location.
What is Nitrocellulose? How can I remove it from my desired solvent?
Nitrocellulose is a chemical compound that has the potential to create an exothermic reaction under certain reaction conditions. This means the compound may release very large amounts of heat. It is flammable, and can become unstable at high temperatures where it releases toxic fumes like Nitrogen Oxides and Carbon Monoxide. Knowing this, we have engineered an option for all models that makes them Nitrocellulose safe. This option includes features such as autocool, a scraper, a steep conical wall, a vacuum, and advanced temperature controls. These features will successfully and safely separate solvents that include Nitrocellulose.
How can I cater this system to meet a high purity requirement? How can I separate water from other solvents?

Our specialized line of chemical recycling equipment called the Solvent Saver Engineered (SSE) line. These models have custom engineered equipment to directly suit your solvent recycling needs. The Solvent Saver Batch (SSB) and Solvent Saver Continuous (SSC) models also have simple additional options that can help separate more difficult chemical mixtures.

We can successfully recycle water from solvents and alcohols such as glycol. The engineering team utilizes Aspen software technologies to map out the ideal recycling process for a given waste composition.

How can I separate a water/blanket wash mixture?
Blanket wash is a very common solvent used in the printing industry, therefore we have  designed and engineered the Solvent Saver Printing (SSP) line with a specialized solvent – water separation device. Maratek’s SSP line has been an asset to many printing companies for over 40 years.
What Certifications Does Maratek Have?

All Maratek Equipment is Metlab Certified for UL2208, UL698A and NFPA496 requiremets, as well as Class 1 Div 1 Group D explosion proof.

We are also CSA certified for being intrinsically safe and non-incendive for hazardous locations.

We are one of the only solvent equipment manufacturers to hold these certifications so always ask to see a copy of the certifications.

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