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Rethinking Recycling: Cal Poly Project Charts New Processing Route

A D+D Online Feature published July 6, 2011



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by Brian Brake, Fanny Moo and V.C. Bud Jenkins

House paint is being recycled for many reasons. The first, and probably the best, reason is that if it is not, then valuable resources are lost to the world and to the economy....
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Tagged categories: Green building; Green coatings; Paint recycling; Paint recycling; Sustainability

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (7/7/2011, 9:09 AM)

Very nice proof of concept. I do have a number of questions and comments. 1) Why was IPA chosen instead of a VOC-exempt solvent such as acetone, methyl actetate or T-butyl acetate? What was the recovery rate of solvent from distillation? 50%? 90%? How much energy is used in the distillation per gallon of resin/water blend recovered? How much VOC do you really think is escaping when you open a can of paint for 10 seconds to check the color? I suspect it is vanishingly small, particularly when compared to the IPA emitted by the described method. Sharing "recovery" paint and waste in the same distillation unit is likely to be very problematic, due to potential contamination of the "clean" resin and water, and contamination of the recovered IPA by other solvents left in the condenser from the waste run (or you are discarding more IPA.)


Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (7/7/2011, 9:16 AM)

Hmm, too bad I cannot edit prior posts. You may also want to use more of the industry standard terminology, such as "vehicle" when referring to a blend of resin and carrier without pigment.


Comment from V. Jenkins, (7/7/2011, 11:04 AM)

In response to Tom Schwerdt's comments: The exempt solvents will gel the emulsion. We believe most of the IPA is recovered in the distillation. The energy use of a distillation unit will have to be examined to see how it balances out ecology wise, It is not the voc liberated in the present color matching process as much as the time spent that concerns us. Contamination should not be an issue, and we are not discarding any IPA. Thank you for your comments.


Comment from Patrick Monnig, (7/11/2011, 1:44 AM)

Good work to you guys, as a fellow Cal Poly Chemistry alum it is exciting to see this work get published.


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