MILAN, Italy — German chemical company Kreussler & Co. announced a new solvent system at Expo Detergo early last week. Known as SystemK4, the process is safe and environmentally friendly, Kreussler says.
The process centers around a new solvent, SolvonK4. The solvent is biodegradable and nonhazardous according to current European regulations, Kreussler says, and still delivers cleaning results on a par with perchloroethylene.
SolvonK4 is a halogen-free, organic solvent with a KB Value (KBV) of 75—two to three times that of high-flashpoint hydrocarbons. Kreussler adds that the new solvent is the only “bipolar” organic solvent available in textile care, capable of cleaning water-soluble and fatty soils.
While Kreussler is keeping the new solvent’s composition a secret until its full release, the substance is currently used in pharmaceutical, cosmetics and commercial applications. It is not in the hydrocarbon, glycol ether or propylene glycol families, the company says, and has not been used previously in drycleaning applications.
The solvent offers reduced prespotting, short cycles and low disposal costs, Kruessler adds. SystemK4 also includes a dedicated detergent, ClipK4; a brushing agent, PrenettK4; and a water- and stain-repellent, VinoyK4.
The solvent runs in Class III-A machinery modified to satisfy the solvent’s particular distillation and drying requirements. Operators can convert existing Class III-A machinery, and Kreussler has partnered with Bologna-based FMB Group—manufacturers of the Union, Realstar and Firbimatic brands—for ready-to-use machines.
The company has been running the solvent in four pilot plants in the U.S. since March, cleaning more than 100,000 garments with less than 20 failures. The solvent has also passed toxicological, dermatological and mutagenic testing without incident, Kreussler says.
SystemK4 and SolvonK4 will be available in the U.S. by the middle of next month. For more information, visit www.systemk4.com.