Solvent Recovery

17 Sept:
A request from Dr. Pleva for information on solvent recovery is an opportunity to look at strategy for dealing with hazards questions. Knowing as I do precious little about the subject, my first step (since we don't have the unabridged Kirk-Othmer) was a shotgun search on AltaVista for "solvent recovery". This produced 791 hits, and a preliminary scan produced some interesting links, mostly to sites in the .com domain (only the first few are shown here):

I tried using AltaVista's refine feature and got this mapping of the concept space:

    99% Solvent, waste, solvents, recovery, hazardous, wastes, disposal,
    61% Epa, rcra, cercla, tsca, impoundments
    57% Distillation, evaporation, exhaust
    54% Pollution, minimization, reduction, prevention
    54% Emissions, voc, organic, volatile, compounds, pollutants
    52% Recycling, recycled, reuse, reused, reduces, reclamation, reusing
    45% Incineration, streams, kilns
    42% Cleaning, degreasing, cleaners, dry, degreaser, degreasers
    42% Chemicals, toxic, epcra, reporting, tri, facilities, combusted,
        rulemaking, potws
    39% Vapor, vapors, condenser, vented, distillate
    39% Aqueous, hydrocarbons, mixtures, sump
    39% Drying, recovers, countercurrent
    39% Chemical, metals, quantities
    37% Wastewater, landfill, remediation, groundwater, contamination,
        spill, leachate
    34% Sludge, abatement, asbestos, clarifier
    33% Vocs, glycol, ethylene
    33% Compliance, regulatory, comply
    33% Carbon, adsorption, activated, regeneration, adsorbent, dioxide,
        carbons, adsorbents
    33% Contaminated, contaminants, soil, contaminant
    32% Extraction, liquid, stripping, supercritical
(the % refers to the proportion of the 791 documents with the indicated terms)
I tried a search in the FirstSearch Applied Science and Technology database and got 57 hits for the search "su:solvent recovery". Inspection of a few items revealed that the AS&T subject heading is "solvents reclamation". A search for sh=solvents reclamation produced 135 hits.
The FirstSearch Environment database yielded 235 hits (but I haven't investigated them yet).
A quick look through the Science Library's REFERENCE section turned up no items that seem to deal in a general way with solvents and their environmental problems and possibilities.

But a search of Annie for solvent* pointed me to one I shouldn't have missed:

 AUTHOR       Patnaik, Pradyot.
 TITLE        A comprehensive guide to the hazardous properties of chemical
                substances / Pradyot Patnaik.
 PUBLISHER    New York : Van Nostrand Reinhold, c1992.
1 > Science-Reference      RA1211 .P38 1992
This book has a chapter on Industrial Solvents (Chapter 30) which lists 64 common industrial solvents and summarizes their properties and characteristics.

The same search located this essential resource:

 AUTHOR       Lide, David R., 1928-
 TITLE        Handbook of organic solvents / David R. Lide.
 PUBLISHER    Boca Raton : CRC Press, c1995.
 DESCRIPT     565 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
 SUBJECT      Organic solvents -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.
 1 > Science Library        TP247.5 .L53 1995

And this one has a chapter about solvents:
 TITLE        Neurotoxicology / editor, Mohamed B. Abou-Donia.
 PUBLISHER    Boca Raton : CRC Press, c1992.
 DESCRIPT     621 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
 1 > Science Library        RC347.5 .N484 1992

The Law Library has this one:
 TITLE        Specialized solvent uses : sourcebook of technologies for
                protecting the ozone layer.
 PUBLISHER    Paris : United Nations Environment Programme, 1996.
 SUBJECT      Solvent waste -- Environmental aspects.
              Factory and trade waste.
              Air quality management.
 1 > Law Library Stacks     TD887.C47 S673 1996

A search of the Lexis/Nexis PATENT database made it clear that the general search term 'solvent recovery' was too broad --but this would be a good place to look for information on state-of-the-art for specific applications and solvents. The search did point me to Kirk-Othmer (where I'd been going to look anyway), and specifically to an article titled "Solvent Recovery" (vol 21 pg 357 --though W&L doesn't have the unabridged Kirk-Othmer, which would have been my first stop if we had it. I can get to it via DIALOG, however).

Here's a link to a more or less typical patent; one can often learn a lot from the introductory material and state-of-art sections of patents.

And here's a link to material from the online version of Kirk-Othmer.

A look at the EPA website revealed a search function, and the search for "solvent" produced several items (only two here):
Learning that acetone was the specific substance of interest, I again queried AltaVista and found the following bits:
Seekonk Lace Company of Barrington, Rhode Island agreed to pay a final penalty of $15,000 for violation of EPCRA 313. EPA's complaint alleged that the company failed to report is emissions of acetone to EPA and to the State of Rhode Island in calendar year 1987; it proposed a $25,000 penalty.

In addition to paying the penalty, the company, which manufacturers lace, agreed to undertake a pollution prevention project which requires a change in its industrial process. It will eliminate its use of more than 250,000 pounds of acetone per year by instituting a mechanical method to separate nylon and acetate threads. The project cost Seekonk an estimated $95,000.

Krueger International
Gillett Division
January 1995

Krueger International (KI) is an open contact molding facility which primarily produces seating, planters and trash receptacles used in hospitals, universities, shopping malls and office buildings. The facility recovers acetone used to clean tools and equipment and switched from a solvent-based parts washer to a citrus-based cleaner that in the past 1-1/2 years has resulted in no hazardous waste. Contact: Jim Spang 414/855-2188.

Yatim et al. (1993) simulated a batch extractive distillation column using a batch rectifier. They considered the azeotropic system of acetone/ methanol, while using water as the extractive agent. They recovered approximately 82% of the acetone in a relatively pure form.
(Yatim, H.; P. Moszkowicz; M. Otterbein; and P. Lang. Dynamic Simulation of a Batch Extractive Distillation Process. European Symposium on Computer Aided Process Design-2. 1993, S57-S63.)

The sources seem to point to distillation as a simple method for recovery of acetone: The FirstSearch Environment database yielded this one:
       AUTHOR: Townsend, M.W.
         NOTE: Contains: Conference proceedings, meeting reports, papers
               presented. Author's affiliation: Monsanto Co., Addyston, OH
               45001, USA. Presented at: 50. Industrial Waste Conference,
               Lafyette, IN (USA), 8-10 May 1995.
        TITLE: Recovery and reuse of spent acetone via a mobile solvent
               recovery unit.
   CONF TITLE: 50. Industrial Waste Conference;(8-10 May 1995 : Lafyette, IN)
               8,9,10, 1995, PURDUE UNIVERSITY., pp. 303-307
         ISSN: 0073-7687
 ABSTRACT JNL: *Water Resources Abstracts. -- Section: SW 3040 Wastewater
               treatment processes.
     LANGUAGE: English
         ISBN: 1575040220
   DESCRIPTOR: USA, Ohio, Addyston; waste recovery; cost analysis;
               recycling; organic solvents; distillation; polymers; safety;