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Processing & Handling :: Process Chemicals

June 1, 2006

Important Determinants Of Solvent Selection

A basic understanding of the physical and chemical properties is necessary to select the best solvent for your process

George Wypych, ChemTec Laboratories, Inc.

Early predictions suggested that solvents would eventually be eliminated from industrial applications because of health and environmental concerns. After a short period of a small decline in solvent use in 1990s, the solvent demand grew steadily by 2.3% per year. At the same time, there have been changes in the types of solvents that are being used. The general trend is towards elimination and replacement of some of the more toxic and environmentally unfriendly species. There has been an increase in the use of high-performance solvents, as well as the application of engineering controls to prevent accidental releases of solvents. In line with these trends, it is essential for chemical engineers to understand the parameters that are important for solvent selection, enabling them to choose a high-performance solvent for a particular application.


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