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November 7, 2018

The New Generation of Parts Washer: The NuGenTec Alternative to Dangerous Parts Washer Solvents.

NuGenTec's CitraKlean Clear uses a natural solvent from oranges.
An increasing number of machine and auto repair shops are switching degreasing methods.  Increasing regulations, awareness of workplace hazards, and the cost of disposing hazardous materials has led the industry in search of new parts washer solvents.  The traditional parts washer cleaners come in three classes: chlorinated solvents, petroleum solvents, and caustic cleaners.

First, we will look into the hazards associated with these three classes of parts washers:

Chlorinated Solvents

Examples of Chlorinated Solvents:

  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)
  • Methylene Chloride (Dichloromethane),(DCM)
  • Perchloroethylene (PCE),(PERC)
  • 1,1,1-Trichloroethane (Methyl Chloroform),(1,1,1-TCA)

Hazards of Chlorinated Solvents:

  • Depending on the solvent, hazards can include
    • Carcinogenicity
    • Toxicity and
    • Ozone Depletion Potential.
While some chlorinated solvents, such as TCE, DCM, and PCE have high toxicity and create a dangerous work environment, TCA, which has a highest permissible exposure limit out of the four solvents, is still a suspected carcinogen with a high ozone depletion potential.  As such, all of these chlorinated solvents have regulated and require vapor containment in enclosed vapor degreasers.

Chlorinated Solvents Can Lead To Damaged Parts:

  • Chlorinated Solvents can undergo a reaction when in contact with water to form highly corrosive hydrochloric acid (HCl).
    • There are several ways to mitigate the potential for HCl formation in the parts washer:
      • Stabilizers can be added to the chlorinated solvent or
      • pH can be carefully monitored and maintained to neutral
    • Unfortunately, if a chlorinated solvent is not completely rinsed, especially from difficult to reach crevices of the substrate, the solvent can leave a residue that can react with water to form HCl - thus expediting stress corrosion.

Petroleum Solvents

Examples of Petroleum Solvents

  • Benzene
  • Toluene
  • Xylene
  • Naptha
  • Mineral Spirits

Hazards of Petroleum Solvents

  • Petroleum solvents host a slew of hazards, including:
    • Flammability
    • Toxicity
    • Genetic Defects
    • Harm through inhalation
    • Damage to Organs
    • Reproductive Damage
    • Damage to Aquatic Life
In addition, mineral spirits are classified as VOC’s, which contribute to photochemical smog and have long-ranging effects on human health.  Read more about the hazards of VOC’s in this article about NuGenTec’s VOC-free NuStrip RH.  
 Petroleum solvents and solvent blends contain toxic compounds and, due to their high rate of evaporation, they can expose workers and the surrounding community to unnecessary health risks.

Caustic Cleaners

Caustic cleaners, also known as high alkaline cleaners, take advantage of the hydroxide ion character to break apart greases and oils.  These come with hazards and hidden costs that are highlighted in last week’s article, High Alkaline Cleaner or Neutral Cleaner? Searching for the Perfect Metal Cleaner.

The Alternative To Hazardous Parts Washer Solvents

NuGenTec's CitraKlean Clear is an aqueous cleaner that harnesses the cleaning power of a natural solvent derived from oranges.  Here’s how it works:
  • The natural solvent, derived from oranges, solvates the toughest greases and oils.
  • A blend of surfactants lowers the surface tension to allow the solvent to penetrate thick layers of grease and oil while aiding in keeping the soils in solution.
  • A robust corrosion inhibition package protects the metals, making CitraKlean Clear perfect for multiple metals, even Aluminum and mild steel.
  • CitraKlean Clear is non-hazardous, making it a vast improvement for workplace safety and disposal measures in comparison with traditional parts washer solvents.
  • CitraKlean Clear making it less expensive and less likely to incur waste due to evaporation.

NuGenTec: Redefining Chemistry

If you are seeking healthier, more environmentally responsible, and less costly alternatives for your industrial processes, contact NuGenTec today. Click here to see if CitraKlean Clear is right for you.