Original Date: 05/23/1994
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Environmentally Safe Cleaning Solvents
Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Keyport has an ongoing program to evaluate and use environmentally safe cleaning solvents. Previously, there was little consideration given to environmental concerns, with little or no recycling. With the ban on ozone depleting substances, tightened Environmental Protection Agency requirements, total elimination of some solvents, and increased health concerns, there were numerous reasons to improve the system.
Keyport responded by implementing a systematic approach to selecting alternative cleaners. After identifying the individual cleaning operations, alternatives were identified and evaluated for cleaning effectiveness, impact on the part, life-cycle cost analysis, and waste generation and disposal considerations. Some solvents have been difficult to replace; however, by making use of information found in industry and incorporating process changes, the facility has made substantial improvements.
Keyport was using 12 drums of trichloroethane a month for production and repair operations, but has now totally eliminated chlorinated solvents. Keyport has decreased its environmental and hazardous material liability, satisfied the inception-to-grave concept espoused by the EPA, improved the work environment, and decreased the cost of waste disposal.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.