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  Guide to Cleaner Technologies, Alternatives to Chlorinated Solvents for Cleaning and Degreasing (50 pp, 5.2 MB) (EPA/625/R-93/016) February 1994

This guide describes chemical alternatives to chlorinated solvents, which are ozone depleting and smog forming, and which contribute high levels of volatile organic compounds to the atmosphere. Both commercially available and emerging chemical alternatives are discussed.

For process and system design engineers, sufficient information is presented to select one or more technologies for further analysis and in-plant testing. Industries that have traditionally used chlorinated solvents include:

  • Metal finishing
  • Airframe manufacturing
  • Automotive manufacturing
  • Machine parts manufacturing
  • Electronics manufacturing and assembly
  • Glass fabrication and finishing
  • Equipment repair, overhaul, and maintenance

The guide discusses available technologies: aqueous cleaners, semi-aqueous cleaners, petroleum hydrocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons, miscellaneous organic solvents, supercritical fluids, and carbon dioxide snow. This guide also discusses emerging technologies: catalytic wet oxidation cleaning and absorbent media.

The Pollution Prevention Strategy section discusses the main federal environmental regulations influencing the move toward application of new cleaning technologies. The Cleaner Technology Transfer Considerations section identifies several databases that can assist users in choosing a cleaning technology. Various characteristics and multiple-attribute selection methods are also presented to help the user choose cleaning agents as alternatives to chlorinated solvents. Recommendations on the use of vendors are also presented.

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