Paint Solvent Recycling

Auto body shops can save money and reduce pollution by using a paint solvent solvent recycling machine can reduce the volum of paint waste that is sent out for hazardous-waste disposal.  At the same time, the machine extracts a mixture of solvents from the paint waste that can be reused in the auto body shop.A paint solvent recycling machine is a simple distillation unit based on the same concept as the equipment used to refine gasoline from crude oil.  The extra paint is put into the machine inside a plastic liner, and the machine is closed.  The machine heats the paint until the liquid portion of the paint (the solvents) boils into vapor.  The vapor is then cooled, and the solvent sdrip into a separate collection tank.  The result of the process is a plastic liner with dried paint powder and a collection tank containing solvents.A paint solvent recycling machine can save auto body shops money in the following ways:
  • Reduces the quantity of hazardous waste that must be sent for disposal.
  • Reduces the amount of solvent needed.
  • Reduces the time it takes to track and reorder solvents and to deal with hazardous waste vendors.

An example, using real figuires obtained from an auto body shop in Austin, found the following expenditures on a monthly basis (your costs will vary):




           BEFORE               AFTER

Cost of Solvent
($18 per gallon)          $800/month        $275/month

Cost of Waste Disposal
($105 per drum)        $105/month         $20/month

                   Totals      $905   (minus)   $295      =
$610 savings 

Monthly savings
$610 and the reduction in about 30 gallons of paint waste per month

Annual savings
$7,320 and the reduction from 10 to 2 drums of paint waste per year.

A 5-gallon paint solvent recycling machine costs approximately $3,000. At a savings of $610 per month, a paint solvent recycling machine will pay for itself in under 5 months.

For more information, contact the Small Business Assistance Program at (800) 447-2827.

The Small Business Assistance Program is an independent division, separate from enforcement, of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, MC-106, P.O. Box 13087, Austin, Texas 7871-3087. Businesses with questions or complaints can call the SBAP on our toll-free hot line at (800) 447-2827 or (512) 239-1066. Internet Address: . All calls are confidential, and the enforcement division of the TNRCC cannot seek information regarding these calls.