Solvent Recovery For U.S. Businesses

Solvent Recovery As An In-House Capability


Solvent recovery is a process that’s used to separate contaminants and suspended particles from liquid solvent. This is done as a method of recycling the liquid for reuse. Once all contaminants are removed as the liquid solvent is extracted and distilled, it can be used just like virgin solvent.  
 

 

 

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As a means of reducing waste, maximizing resources, saving labor, and streamlining processes solvent recovery has become an integral capability for many manufacturers, service providers, and other companies in varied industries.

Almost any company that regularly relies on solvent for some part of their process can make use of solvent recovery. It’s also possible to apply solvent recovery technology to other liquid chemicals as a method of waste treatment. This allows them to be reclaimed and reused in the same way.

Solvent recovery is rooted in the process of distillation. This is an efficient method for separating suspended particles and contaminants from the liquid solvent. The contaminants are isolated so they can be easily collected for waste disposal. 

The recovered solvent can be retrieved from the system through manual or automatic draining to reenter the front end of the process. Depending on how the system is integrated, the process can be made continuous. 

This means that dirty solvent is automatically fed from cleaning equipment to the recovery equipment and then returned back to the cleaning equipment as a closed-loop system.    

Solvent recovery can be accomplished with a broad range of machinery and is known under several characterizations, including: These systems almost always start with a heating process that evaporates the solvent. Particle solids and suspended contaminants are left behind as the liquid transitions into vapor. The vapor is moved to a different part of the system, where it is cooled and condensed back into liquid form and is thus recovered and fully useable. 

These systems are used by disposal and recycling service providers, but they are also increasingly used by manufacturing and processing companies as an in-house solution. Recovery systems can be catered to the needs of small and large organizations alike and they can accommodate varying degrees of automation.

If a company regularly uses solvent or similar chemicals, these systems can offer many benefits. One of the most obvious is the need for less virgin solvent. Solvent recovery technologies allow for recovery rates as high as 95 percent. This recycled liquid is comparable to new solvent and can be used in the exact same way.

Since the recovered solvent will be applied to the front end of the system with only the contaminants left behind, hazardous waste handing requirements are reduced, as are labor demands and reliance on waste disposal services.  

Since solvent recycling systems are contained, waste handling compliance is better assured, liability is reduced, and safety can better be maintained throughout the facility. This, combined with improved sustainability and environmental practices, provides a lot of incentives for companies to incorporate solvent recovery capabilities into their process. 

Successful system integration can be accomplished with the guidance of an authorized solvent recovery equipment provider or the OEM. Choosing the most appropriate solvent recovery unit requires some careful consideration of many factors, including capacity ranges, level of automation, the type of solvent or chemical to be recovered, etc. Accounting for these and other factors will ensure the greatest return on investment.