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A Modern Approach to Solvent Selection

By Rafiqul Gani, Technical University of Denmark; Concepción Jiménez-González, GlaxoSmithKline; Antoon ten Kate, Akzo Nobel; Peter A |

    Solvents have been used for centuries and in all type of industries for the processing, manufacturing and formulation of goods. In the chemical process industries (CPI), solvents are used in various process-operation steps such as separation (of gas, liquid and/or solid), reaction (as reaction medium, reactant, and carrier), degreasing, washing and many more. As part of product formulations, solvents are used in paints, textiles, rubber, adhesives and thousands of other products found at work and home. In the cleaning industry, solvents are used as cleaning reagents (dry cleaning, washing) or as part of a cleaning product. This list is not exhaustive, as solvents are used for many other industrial, academic and research purposes. While solvents have a very wide range of application, many of the commonly used solvents pose serious environment, health and safety (EHS) concerns, including human and eco-toxicity issues, process safety hazards and waste management issues. Furthermore, solvents are subject to increasing and continuous regulatory scrutiny. One consequence is the need to avoid the use of organic solvents where possible. When elimination is not feasible, efforts should be made to optimize, minimize and recycle…
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