How To Quickly Review the Health of Your Onsite Solvent Recycling Process

Follow this step by step guide to help you gauge the health of your onsite solvent recycling process.

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Do you need to determine the health of an onsite solvent recycling process? Or are you lacking any data about your solvent distillation unit yield or uptime data? Need a review of the solvent recycling process, but have limited time?

We’ve put together this quick and easy to follow guide to help you collect some data and gauge the health of your onsite solvent recycling process.

There are three specific items to review to provide insight into the operating status of an onsite distillation unit/process. You’ll find all three listed below. If you’d like more information on these, check out our companion article that delves into the details of measuring the health of your onsite solvent recycling process.

Solvent Waste Shipments

The first thing you’ll want to do to gauge the health of your recycling process is to look at the manifests (or bill of landings) for your waste shipments.

Is the facility shipping spent solvent as waste material?

Spent cleaning solvent that is shipped out as waste indicates potential problems with your recycling process:

Problem: The distillation unit operators are not processing all the material through the solvent recycler.

Solution: Find out the reason they aren’t running all the feed material. Train the operators to process all the feed material on a regular basis. 

Problem: There are not enough trained operators at the facility

Solution: Train more operators so you have reserve people.

Problem: The current still does not have enough processing capacity for all the feed material.

Solution: In order to solve this you’ll need to add more recycling capacity. – You can contact CleanPlanet Chemical, for a no CAPEX distillation unit.

Problem: The distillation unit is having difficulty staying operational due to mechanical problems.

Solution: Determine if your Maintenance Dept. can handle the repair issues; if not, call CleanPlanet Chemical for assistance.

Still Bottom Drums

Next, open a few of the still bottom drums produced from the recycling process. Mix the solids and solvent material and check to see how much solvent is present in the still bottom drums.

High levels of solvent in the still bottom drums may indicate a problem with the solvent distillation equipment.

More solvent than usual in the drums may indicate one or more of the following:

Problem: The distillation unit is not operating correctly due to a mechanical issue.


Solution: Ask the Maintenance Department to diagnose and repair the unit. The older the distillation unit, the more likely this is the issue.  Maybe time to get a new solvent recycling unit – contact CleanPlanet Chemical

Problem: The set up on the current distillation unit will not process your cleaning solvent or isn’t capable of processing your current solvent.

Solution: Change the unit settings or contact CleanPlanet Chemical about a new distillation unit

Problem: The unit settings have changed – either the temperature or the time.

Solution: Determine why the distillation unit settings were changed and adjust back to the correct settings.

Problem: The feed material has changed – specifically the solvent

Solution: Review the solvent SDS for information and to ensure the correct recycling unit set up

Virgin Solvent Usage

Lastly, review the volume of virgin solvent purchased. Determine a baseline of virgin solvent needed for the facility’s baseline production volume.

Compare a month or quarters usage of virgin solvent vs. the virgin solvent baseline and compare it to the production baseline over the same period.

Excessive virgin solvent used for cleaning processes indicates a problem.

If the difference in actual vs. baseline virgin solvent usage cannot be explained away by increases in production, it may indicate one of the following:

Problem: The distillation unit is not operational.

Solution: Ask maintenance department to diagnosis and repair the unit.

Problem: The distillation unit is not producing enough recovered solvent.



Solution: Review the numbers. If the recovered solvent needed is less than 10%, you may just need to purchase additional top off solvent.  Review the solvent recovery process if the recovered solvent is short by more than 10%.  Call CleanPlanet Chemical for help!

Problem: Quality issues of the recovered solvent are causing the operators to use virgin solvent for some of the cleaning/flushing processes.


Solution: Check the recovered solvent quality control system on your current distillation unit. If the current distillation unit does not have any quality control features, call CleanPlanet Chemical – their units are designed to QC the recovered solvent.

Problem: The supply of virgin solvent is readily available and substituted for the recovered solvent.


Solution: Either relocate the virgin solvent or make it more challenging for the users to access it in the current location via a lock. At a minimum, train the employees that they need to use recovered solvent for cleaning/flushing processes and document training.


CleanPlanet partners with its customers to ensure they are maximizing their onsite chemical recycling. Our advanced solvent distillation technology allows our customers to recover more chemical than any other distillation unit. If you’re struggling with an underperforming distillation unit reach out to our team to see how we can help.


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