An Ultimate Guide to Increase Solvent Recovery to 90%

Solvent recovery is one of the most important recycling methods for companies across a broad range of industries to reduce their carbon footprint by reducing their waste production. Solvent recovery is also a more cost effective alternative to disposing spent solvent and purchasing virgin solvent. 

While the world focuses more on trending green initiatives and concepts, companies like Solvent Washer are focusing on putting sustainability into practice with effective recycling systems. Whether your company wants to move towards a more carbon neutral state, reduce overhead costs (on both virgin solvent purchases and disposal costs of waste solvents) or simply wants to find a more reliable solution to replace solvent disposal, having a solvent recovery system in place can meet both these needs, and more!

There are few end-of-pipe pollution control methods as effective as solvent recovery, and many businesses are able to dramatically reduce their expenditure on virgin materials as well as disposal costs. One of the most attractive qualities of solvent recovery is that it doesn’t really adjust existing processes- it is an easy to implement step in the pipeline that can render massive positive changes to a company’s green brand image as well as the bottom line. 

Although solvent recovery is essential for any company that produces large amounts of solvents, it is valuable for small and medium sized manufacturers as well.

How Can You Improve Solvent Recovery?

First of all, you need a solvent recovery system that works efficiently while saving your business time and money. 

When are Solvent Recovery Systems Used?

Recovery systems extract usable solvents from effluent streams, effecting cutting down demand for virgin solvent and dramatically reducing waste. These systems are becoming increasingly popular as more companies turn to viable greener solutions, in an effort to meet increasing demand for more carbon-neutral manufacturing. 

Manufacturers have also begun to realise that solvent recovery systems are effective for maintaining standards and meeting regulations- as their waste streams are reduced and effectively made ‘cleaner’. Businesses looking for reliable standardisation are also beginning to turn to recovery systems for solvent repurposing as virgin solvent quality cannot always be guaranteed. 

What are the Benefits of Solvent Recovery? 

Whether your company is looking to cut back on overheads for improve the carbon footprint, there are numerous ways solvent recycling can benefit a business. The three most important benefits are:

Cut Costs

By recycling and repurposing spent solvents, manufacturers can reduce raw material and disposal costs. 

Environmental Brand Boost

Let’s be honest. How many companies reduce their carbon footprint out of a deep desire to do so? Business is about that bottom line- and now that there is a cost effective way to reduce waste, companies are jumping on the environmental bandwagon thanks to recovery systems. Because, it’s the best of both worlds: companies can enjoy lower EPA reporting and boost their green brand image, all while reducing overheads. It’s a profitable approach to being more environmentally friendly. 


What boosts business better than efficiency? Not much. Since recovery systems allow spent solvents to be repurposed, manufacturing companies can benefit from standardised efficiency and reliable consistency. 

How Does a Solvent Recovery System Work?

A solvent recovery system allows for spent solvents to be repurposed. Solvent washing is an effective and powerful technology that removes contaminants while recovering solvents for re-use.

And since many solvents can be potentially contaminated during the various processes they are used for, the system needs to isolate the useful solvent and ensure it can be reused in place of virgin solvent. There are various ways that machines are designed to do this. Solvent recovery is possible due to several technologies, including distillation, liquid-liquid extraction, membrane separation, crystallization, absorption, and even film evaporation. 

The correct recovery method will depend on the application- and Solvent Washer’s ROI calculator makes this identification process easy. Simply input your production-specific data and let our calculator determine the most effective machine for your production needs. 

While there are various technologies solvent recovery systems utilize for the process of turning spent solvents into reusable materials, there are some which are more popular due to their versatility and high efficiency rates. 

There are three main options for the recovery of spent solvent in commercial industries.

  • Carbon Absorption

Steam is utilized to separate and remove solvent before it can be repurposed. During this process, carbon is regenerated and at least two units are used for the operation. This is a highly effective solvent recovery system however it is not recommended for materials with high levels of chlorinated solvents. 

  • Distillation and Condensation

These two processes are used in tandem to isolate solvents from liquids for repurposing. Distillation is one of the most popular methods due to its versatility and high success rate. It can be used for both singular solvents as well as mixtures. 

  • Dissolving

Another less popular method is when the solvent is dissolved using a separate material. Distillation is then used to isolate and recover the solvent from the ‘resting’ solution. There are not many companies that will use this method as its success rate is lower when compared to distillation and condensation or Carbon Absorption. 

Waste disposal is a top concern for many businesses, but the cost of properly disposing of your waste is often more than business can bear. Traditional recycling has had limited success, so innovative processes are becoming popular. Chemical and solvent recycling provides an eco-friendly method for handling your by-products, revamping them into new products or materials without harming the environment. Innovations in this field help innovative leaders always find ways around their business’s wastefulness.

The Following Solvents are Commonly Recycled and Repurposed:

  • Mineral Spirits
  • Paint Thinner
  • Acetone
  • IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol)
  • MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone)
  • Xylene
  • Hexane
  • Various Alcohols
  • Chlorinated Solvents – Microcare Solvents
  • Terpenes Toluene
  • Aromatic Solvent

Most systems use the power of Distillation Systems. These utilize vaporization to distill contaminants in used solvents. 

Recovery machines will typically use distillation recovery to isolate volatile substances and remove it from the solvent, allowing the solvent to be reused and repurposed. Providing that the solvent has a boiling point of less than 425 F, the solvent recovery machine will distill almost any solvent. 

Solvent Recovery Makes Sense

There are many reasons why solvent recovery makes sense. Solvent recovery is cost efficient, reduces chemical disposal costs, and can reduce solvent purchases. All of this for a machine that takes up just a few square feet of valuable workshop space.

A solvent recovery machine is an essential tool for removing solvents throughout the manufacturing process. Solvent recovery machines prevent solvent loss, maximize your solvents’ effectiveness, and help you save on chemical disposal costs.

Knowing the value of unused solvents can give you better control over purchasing. In addition, a solvent recovery machine saves time and increases efficiency in removing leftover solvents from equipment or parts cleaning applications for reuse or disposal. Solvent recovery equipment is an excellent investment for business across most industries and can reduce the amount of resources spent on virgin solvents. 

The amount of solvent that your company processes will determine exactly which type of machine will suit your needs the best. Use our handy ROI tool to calculate your solvent needs, and see which solution will be most efficient for your bottom line. 

What is the General Recovery Range of Solvent in all Industries?

While the typical range sits somewhere between 70% and 80%, this can be boosted to over 90% too. Not only can the right solvent recovery solution recover spent solvent, it can also reduce solvent waste disposal cost by over 90% and reduce solvent purchases by over 95%. This effectively reduces demand for virgin solvent purchase- a high cost in almost every industry. 

How Solvent Washer can Help You Achieve This Goal

Solvent Washer offers a comprehensive solvent recovery solution for your company. Use our ROI tool to discover the exact machine that will take your solvent recovery to 90%. 

Having a solvent recycling system helps to make the most of your used solvents, removing dangerous chemicals while allowing you to extract valuable materials for reuse. A solvent recovery unit is typically easy to install, operates with few moving parts, and can sometimes even be installed on existing piping for reliable results. 

Easily recover solvents to reduce manufacturing waste and mitigate your carbon footprint with industrial solvent recovery systems. Solvent Washer allows you to generate significantly less chemical waste and repurpose instead of dispose- its one simple way of streamlining your business’s productivity.  

We make waste solvent recovery easy. Just another step in our process of making your life easier, and your bottom line better. Our recycling systems are designed to make recycling simpler, ensuring that this part of your business is completely hassle free.

At Solvent Washer, we understand there is no one-size-fits-all approach to solvent recovery and we strive to offer the most effective solvent recovery services for our customers. We have a range of solvent recovery services and thereby can provide tailored packages and solutions. Solvent Washer has an effective solution, contact us today to find your company’s ideal solvent recovery solution.