Solvent Recovery

Recovery of solvents from process streams is necessary, both economically and ecologically. The objective may be recovery, purification and re-use of an expensive process component, capture of a specific chemical or fraction from a mixed stream, and/or removal of a byproduct from wastewater to meet effluent regulations.

Recovery and reuse of a process solvent accomplishes two important objectives; 1) It removes the solvent from plant waste and 2) eliminates the need to purchase new solvent (except for a much smaller make-up volume). Oftentimes the solvent can be recovered at higher purity than purchased, and the process can produce higher value product with improved purity.

Depending on the exact composition of the feed stream, various technologies may be employed to effect the separation, including:

• Distillation

• Liquid-liquid extraction

• Absorption

• Adsorption

• Steam stripping

• Combination systems

• Azeotropic Distillation / Membranes

Integration of the above mass transfer techniques, either alone or in combination, into a modular system that meets your needs involves proper selection of equipment, instrumentation and control strategies that will ensure consistent product quality and/or compliance with environmental regulations for discharge. Similarly, rotating equipment and the overall hydraulic design must be engineered to deliver reliable operation. The plant layout must provide unrestricted access for safe operation and ease of maintenance.

Your solvent recovery system is not the core of your process, but is a secondary process step. It should run seamlessly with your process, and should not require frequent attention. Likewise (especially if the project is environmentally driven), the cost of a solvent recovery unit may have a longer payback period than normal or may even be a net cost to your operation. For this reason, your solvent recovery unit should have low energy consumption—exchanging process heat between streams and minimizing utility requirements—to optimize your return on capital investment. All of these factors are considered when we design your modular solvent recovery system.

ChemPro’s combined experience in mass transfer and modular construction can make a world of difference in the success of your solvent recovery unit. Our thirty years of experience includes all of the above mass transfer technologies, with successful recovery units for a wide range of solvents—aromatics such as benzene and toluene; alcohols (such as methanol, ethanol, IPA and butanol); organic acids (such as acetic and formic); halogenated solvents (such as methylene chloride); phenolic compounds (like phenol and BPA); formaldehyde, MEK, DMF, DMAC, DMSO, and a host of other organic chemicals too numerous to list here. When combined with our vast expertise in modular systems, we can design, engineer, and build a modular solvent recovery unit for your specific application—one that meets your economic and environmental needs—in a surprisingly short timeframe. ChemPro can help with process studies, laboratory and pilot testing, and scale-up to full production. Just call us to discuss your specific separation or recovery need and let our experience make a difference for you.

Modular Systems for Your Difficult Separations