NEW ORLEANS — A constant of Clean Shows in the last 15 years is a discussion about the choices industry operators will need to make in light of ever-increasing regulations against perchloroethylene use. Today’s panel discussion, “The Great Solvent Debate,” surveyed the marketers of five alternative solvent technologies to help operators make sense of their options.
Organized by the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI) and moderated by Pennsylvania/Delaware Cleaners Association (PDCA) executive director Carol Memberg, the discussion quizzed the panel about aspects such as support, health and safety, environmental issues and cleaning effectiveness.
Sales manager Ray Roccon represented DrySolv, R.R. Street’s Ross Beard spoke on behalf of Solvair, CoolClean Technologies’ Jon Wikstrom answered for liquid CO2’s early use alone and in the Solvair system, Tim Maxwell represented GreenEarth, and Adco’s Jim Schreiner spoke for high-flashpoint hydrocarbons. Speakers addressed each issue as it applies to their solvent in turn, leading to an orderly and educational session.
Though the debate examined five different chemical compounds with often very different user profiles, one thing holds true, the panelists agreed: Operators need to examine each alternative as a complete system. That means not just picking a solvent, but also using its machinery properly, applying appropriate spotting agents and detergents, and handling hazardous wastes.
“It’s not the solvent alone, it’s the entire system,” said Dr. Schreiner. “It’s your detergent, your equipment, and the cycles you’re using. You have to look at the entire package. Everything has to work together to get soils out and clean clothes.”