Process Advisor Alternatives Search Links
Research Triangle Institute

Solvent Alternatives Guide

General Information

  • Emulsifiers allow non-water-soluble soils to be cleaned with aqueous solutions. For example, an emulsion cleaner can be used to clean petroleum-based soils. The emulsion cleaner is then rinsed off using an aqueous rinse.

  • Most emulsion cleaners use a solvent suspended in an aqueous base. The solvents may include alcohol, methylene chloride, methyl chloroform (TCA), terpenes, or petroleum products such as kerosene or petroleum oil.

  • Emulsion cleaners are effective at removing organic contaminants. They are recommended for removing carbonized grease and oil and for buffing or lapping compounds.

  • Spray application and immersion cleaning are the most common cleaning processes that use emulsifying agents.

  • Emulsions can be broken by an acid or a salt, causing the solvent to separate from the water. This can be an effective way to control waste streams; i.e., contaminated solvent can be separated from water and be reused or disposed of separately.

  • Emulsion cleaners are very similar to semiaqueous cleaners. Emulsifying agents may be added to aqueous solutions to help clean nonsoluble soils.

State Information | Glossary | Conversion Checklist | Comments

Home | Process Advisor | Alternatives | Links | Search

All SAGE material, Copyright© 1992, Research Triangle Institute
Last Update: 14 March 1995