Filtration and Vacuum Specialists since 1976

The Micron
JB Systems Little Newspaper
April 2005
1334 Greenville Rd.
LaGrange, GA 30241
Filtration and Vacuum Specialists since 1976

On-Site Distillation Units

Reclaiming Solvent Waste

Payback analysis and cost worksheet
Although spent solvents are often hazardous wastes, many contaminated solvents can be reclaimed, and then reused. Distilling solvents at a facility (on-site) is a common way to recycle solvents.

When considering on-site distillation you should consider the Cost-Benefits. There are obvious and not-so-obvious costs and savings to look at when considering a still, and the most obvious savings are the reduced disposal fees. For a more accurate analysis you should take into account, at a minimum:

  • Captial
  • Installation
  • The operation and maintenance
  • Raw materials
  • Disposal Costs
The following guidelines will help your business recover a quality solvent:
  • Distill different types of solvents separately, and do not mix different types of spent solvents in the same container.
  • Do not contaminate the solvents with water.
  • Make sure the distillation unit has the proper temperature range, capacity, and processing time for the solvent you want to recycle.
  • Low solids in the material to be distilled will help the still operate efficiently. High solids insulate the heat source from the solvent and reduce the efficiency of the recovery.
  • If the reclaimed solvent cannot be used in the original process, look for alternative uses such as cleaning painting equipment. Mixing pure solvent with recovered solvent will probably not return the recovered solvent to its original effectiveness.
  • The success of your solvent recycling program may depend on having an individual dedicated to supervising and initiating the operation.

We would like to thank the Washington State Department of Ecology for contributing the information contained in this newsletter.
Publication #94/31

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