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  Guide to Cleaner Technologies, Cleaning and Degreasing Process Changes (46 pp, 4.67 MB) (EPA/625/R-93/017) February 1994

This guide describes cleaner technologies that can be used to reduce waste in cleaning and degreasing operations. The focus is on process changes that use different technologies for cleaning or that eliminate the need for cleaning solvent as part of a production operation.

Cleaning and degreasing processes are applied in a variety of industrial processes to remove dirt, soil, and grease. Cleaning and degreasing operations are usually carried out as a final step in manufacturing a product, as a preliminary step in preparing a surface for further work, such as electroplating or an operation between equipment uses.

The following commercially available technologies are discussed:

  • Add-on controls to existing vapor degreasers
  • Completely enclosed vapor cleaning
  • Automated aqueous cleaning
  • Aqueous power washing
  • Ultrasonic cleaning
  • Low-solids fluxes
  • Inert atmosphere soldering

The following emerging technologies are also discussed:

  • Vapor storage technology
  • Vacuum furnace
  • Laser cleaning
  • Plasma cleaning
  • Fluxless soldering and replacements for tin-lead solder joints

Sufficient information is presented to select one or more commercially available technologies for further analysis and in-plant testing. Pollution prevention benefits, reported applications, operational benefits, and limitations are discussed for each of the technologies presented. The main federal environmental regulations influencing the application of new cleaning technologies are presented in the Pollution Prevention Strategy section. The Cleaner Technology Transfer Considerations section contrasts options for using new cleaning equipment with semi-aqueous or aqueous cleaner alternatives. Information on pilot testing of technologies and processes as well as considerations for vendors' assistance in selecting alternative cleaning methods is presented.

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