1209 PARTS CLEANING FACT SHEET
Solvents are essential in vehicle maintenance operations to clean 200 dollar short term loan parts. Common solvents used include petroleum naphtha, carburetor cleaners (petroleum distillates and additives), and kerosene. Solvents with flash points below 140b0 F are considered Federally regulated ignitable wastes (D001). Carburetor cleaners usually contain additives such as halogenated or non-halogenated solvents that result in these wastes being classified as solvents or as TCLP wastes. Solvents with flash points above 140b0 F, such as high-flash naphtha or kerosene, are coded as VTO2 wastes.
VT Hazardous Waste Management Regulations state that solvents which contain halogenated, and some non-halogenated solvents, or have a flash point of 140b0 F or above are subject to regulation. This means that wastes with these compounds or characteristics present must handled, stored, transported, and disposed of in accordance with regulations. Solvents that are being legitimately recycled or reused on-site may be exempt from part or all of the regulations; solvents recycled or reused off-site must be shipped as hazardous waste.
GOOD MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
Many solvents may quickly evaporate into the air under normal room temperatures. Keeping solvent containers tightly closed and away from heat and drafts when not in use could help minimize product loss, and keep emissions into the air at a minimum.
Solvents should be used as little as possible to minimize the generation of hazardous wastes. Operators should only clean parts that need to be cleaned. Careful conservation of solvents could reduce waste generation, as well reduce the purchase of new solvent.
HAZARDOUS WASTE REDUCTION OPTIONS
Many vehicle maintenance and service operations rent or lease parts-cleaning units and solvents from solvent service vendors. These units usually consist of a parts-cleaning sink or compartment mounted over a drum of solvent. The rental is usually part of a package deal whereby the service vendor maintains the unit, provides fresh solvent removes spent solvent (either for disposal or recycling), and provides appropriate paperwork. This method of solvent management is very common.
Customers subscribing to this type of service may be able to reduce the amount of hazardous waste they generate by examining the condition of the solvent when it is exchanged. If the solvent can still effectively clean parts, then the amount of time between solvent exchanges could be increased. Customers could arrange for exchanges of solvent to be as infrequent as possible. Also, the number of parts cleaning units in use could be examined to see if the number can be reduced. These two management techniques could help reduce the amount of hazardous waste generated.
Replacement of hazardous solvents with less-hazardous or non-hazardous solvents is possible. One option is to replace low-flash naphtha (flash point less than 140b0 F) with a high-flash naphtha (flash point greater than 140b0 F). This change may result in less paper-work related to Federal hazardous waste management issues, and could reduce liability.
Another option is the replacement of hazardous solvents with non-hazardous solvents. One such replacement is alkaline detergents used in solution with water. Alkaline cleaning agents are usually employed in either a heated dip tank, agitating tank, ultrasonic cleaner or jet-spray washer. These cleaning agents have successfully replaced hazardous solvents in many industries. In most cases, the solutions are used for long periods of time, with intermediate strengthening of the solution and oil changed, removal, before the solution must be changed. Alkaline cleaning solutions may be considered hazardous waste if they become contaminated with hazardous materials. Solutions contaminated with oil and grease would likely be considered hazardous under Vermont Hazardous Waste Regulations, and be coded VT02. If greases and oils can be separated, from the solution, it may be possible to discharge the solution to the municipal sewer system. Discharge should be done only after gaining approval from state and local authorities. Cost for concentrated alkaline cleaners is moderate to high. The use of these cleaners instead of traditional solvents could significantly reduce the amount of hazardous waste generated and the associated disposal costs. Costs for implementing a change in solvents depend upon the individual requirements of the facility and the nature or their operations.
Terpenes are another chemical option for replacing traditional solvents. This group of chemicals is derived from plants, and is commonly used in solution with water. As with alkaline detergents, these chemicals have replaced hazardous waste generating solvents in many industries, such as metal working, electrical motor repair, automotive engine repair and rebuild, and printed circuit board. Cost for the concentrated chemical is also moderate to high. Terpene solutions contaminated with oil and grease would likely be considered hazardous waste under Hazardous Waste Management Regulations and be coded VTO2. If greases and oils can be separated from the solution it may be possible to discharge the solution to the municipal sewer system. Discharge should only occur after gaining approval from state and local authorities. The use of terpene solutions for parts cleaning could significantly reduce the amount of hazardous waste generated and the associated disposal costs. Substitution of terpenes for traditional petroleum distillate solvents can result in hazardous waste reduction through the elimination of the source. As with alkaline cleaners, costs for implementing a change in solvents depend upon the individual requirements of the facility and the nature of their operations.
For more information, contact the Vermont Hazardous Materials Management Division, 103 South Main Street, Waterbury Vermont 05671-0404, (802) 241-3888.
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Last Update – 20-March-98