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RE: Styrene replacement

They are likely using styrene for cleanup because styrene is part of the gel coat formula.  So, substituting another solvent may make a management problem more complicated and will not eliminate styrene from the workplace.
I would start in reviewing their cleanup process to see if there are ways to minimize styrene use. Perhaps wiper blades can be used to remove the bulk of the gel coat from the mix tank wall. Maximize product recovery from the mix tank and you reduce cleanup waste. Can batches be sequenced from light to dark, avoiding the need to clean the tank?
How is the styrene used for cleaning? Are the mix tank walls sprayed down or is the tank filled and drained?  While spraying minimizes solvent use, it generates more air emissions.  It might be better to fill, mix, and then drain the tank. However, this will generate much more solvent waste so a recovery still will be mandatory.
Mike Callahan, PE
Jacobs Engineering
1111 S. Arroyo Parkway
Pasadena CA 91105
Business: (626) 568-7005
Cell: (213) 359-9805
-----Original Message-----
From: owner-p2tech@great-lakes.net [mailto:owner-p2tech@great-lakes.net]On Behalf Of Ken Grimm
Sent: Monday, November 03, 2008 10:49 AM
To: p2tech@great-lakes.net
Subject: Styrene replacement

One of the companies we are working with manufactures gel coat.  As part of the clean-up process they rinse the tanks with styrene to clean them out between batches, drum up the used styrene and send it out as hazardous waste.
We have provided them information on solvent distillation, but with styrene now classified as a "probable carcinogen," does anyone know of an effective (and cost-effective) substitute for styrene in the clean-up process?
Thanks very much,

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