What are Hydrofluoroethers?

As a class of organic solvents, hydrofluoroethers are a type of hydrocarbon with an ether bond. They were introduced in 1996 to help combat the rise in greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.  


Characteristics of Hydrofluoroethers 

They have many qualities that make them desirable to work with. These characteristics include: 

  • Colorless 
  • Odorless 
  • Tasteless 
  • Low Toxicity 
  • Low Viscosity 
  • Nonflammable 
  • Liquid at Room Temperature 

The properties of the chemical allow for savings when it comes to equipment costs. They do not require explosion proofing, specified extinguishing equipment, or an inert atmosphere to be used.  

Environmental Impact of Hydrofluoroethers

Hydrofluoroethers are commonly used to replace fluorocarbons that emit harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Some of the fluorocarbons that can be easily replaced are: 

  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) 
  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) 
  • Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) 
  • Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) 

Compared to the fluorocarbons listed above, hydrofluoroethers make less of an impact on the environment. A few qualities that make them more environmentally friendly are: 

  • Low global warming potential 
  • Almost zero ozone depletion 
  • Short atmospheric lifetime 

Industries and Applications of Hydrofluoroethers

Since hydrofluoroethers are known to be environmentally cleaner while maintaining equal performance to other solvents, some of the larger industries that use them are: 

  • Medical 
  • Aerospace 
  • Military 
  • Analytical Equipment 

Hydrofluoroethers are used commercially and industrially. Some of the most common applications in those industries include: 

  1. Cleaning solvents 
  2. Vapor degreasing solvent 
  3. Blowing agents 
  4. Coatings and lubricants 
  5. Heat transfer 
  6. Dry etching agents 

Performance of Substitutes

When it comes to substituting CFCs, HFCs, HCFCs, and PFCs with hydrofluoroethers, a company’s biggest concern is often the difference in performance. The following categories are similar to, if not better when replaced with a hydrofluoroethers: 

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Selective Solvency 
  • Compatibility with metals, plastics, and elastomers 
  • Stability (does not need stabilizer additives) 
  • Stringent Quality 

Looking for Eco-friendlier product options?

Make your company eco-friendlier today with a product that doesn’t compromise your process or final product. Hydrofluoroethers are a close substitute and can help your company on the track to reducing your impact on ozone depletion and greenhouse gas emissions. Allow Ecolink to help! Contact us or request a quote to determine if hydrofluoroethers are the best choice for needs! 

4 Logistical Considerations When Selecting Solvent Replacements

Logistics is a discipline we often associate with choosing the best transportation routes. The discipline is also applicable configuring and organizing interior work environments to operate more productively. Simply put, with the right logistics in place, processes that involve moving from point A to point B happen in the smoothest, least time consuming, most efficient way.

In this entry, we focus on the hybridization of both of these logistical concerns, as it applies to implementing solvent replacements. Considered in light of logistics are the following aspects of solvent replacement: solvent delivery, solvent storage, solvent recycling, and solvent disposal.

  1. Solvent Delivery

If you order a custom solvent replacements that are formulated from scratch, the time required to formulate them often results in taking longer to deliver them than stock solutions that are available for immediate shipment.

A second factor that has a significant impact is what type freight shipping model you use. For example, less-than-load (LTL) shipping is a highly affordable shipping model, but it can be quite slow for one reason: Multiple partial orders are placed in a full-size freight trailer and dropped off one-by-one along the delivery route. If you’re near the route’s end, you could wait awhile.

  1. Solvent Storage

Next, we move inside the facility, and consider the logistics of solvent storage. For business-critical solvent operations to remain efficient, the solvent supply chain in the facility must be streamlined to provide the right solvent, when it is needed, where it is needed. Where the solvent is stored can have a major impact on these goals.

Ideally, solvent should be stored closest to the point of use, without complicating egress flow in the work area, violating fire safety protocols (if the solvent has a low to midrange flashpoint), or needing to be handled in some way before Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is in place.

  1. Solvent Recycling

Using parts washing systems that recycle solvent can significantly streamline the logistical process of filling the machine with parts washing solvent. Systems that purge waste solvent, and then return it to the machine’s solvent basin for reuse essentially eliminate logistical concerns. The clean solvent is back in the basin quickly, ready for another wash cycle, until it has been cycled through as many times as possible, while still retaining its original efficacy.

  1. Solvent Disposal

For most operations that make frequent use of industrial grade solvents, the most logistical way to dispose of them is placing them in a chemical waste trap, from which a chemical waste company removes them.

Trying to keep toxic solvent out of the waste trap is a noble, eco friendly effort. However, if waste will go in the trap, be sure that the waste removal company arrives frequently enough to keep the trap emptied well below the fill mark at all times. An overflowing waste trap could create a logistical nightmare for a facility in more ways than one.

Who We Are

Ecolink is a provider of industrial garden cleaning solutions that address the needs of a wide range of users. We provide solvent replacements in the form of stock solutions and custom solutions for work processes that range from the tough, industrial cleaning jobs to light cleaning for everyday surfaces.

To inquire about our products and services, call us today at (800) 563-1305, or use our contact form. We look forward to hearing about your cleaning needs and presenting great options.

Choosing a Replacement Solvent Based Degreaser: Four Considerations

A solvent base cleaner is a cleaning agent that uses a chemical base to achieve efficacy, as opposed to water based cleaners, which predominantly uses a base of water to perform cleaning. However, as effective as a water based cleaners can be, they are often insufficient for a certain cleaning operations. If you need to choose a replacement, solvent-based degreaser, making the following, crucial considerations can help you select the right product for your needs.

1. List of Reportable Chemicals

Since 2015, nPB has been on the list of toxic chemicals subject to reporting under section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986 and section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA) of 1990. Many in the solvent industry see this legislation as preceding the inclusion of nPB n the EPA’s list of lists, which identifies chemicals that are demonstrated to produce airborne pollutants that harm human health.

However, chemicals don’t instantly appear one the EPA’s toxic inventory list. Rather, the EPA generally communicates upcoming chemical regulations to companies and organizations well ahead of time to give them the time to phase-out solvents such as nPB and identify safer solvents that offer better safety profile, while delivering just as much cleaning power.

2. Method of Degreaser Use

Will you wipe the degreaser on surfaces that need cleaning, or will you use a spray application to coat the surface? In the latter case, it’s often ideal to use a highly evaporative, dielectric cleaner in aerosol. Once parts are thoroughly sprayed, the grease and grime fall away from parts like water from a duck’s back. An order of aerosol containers may cost more than an order of wipe containers, but simplified cleaning can have a major impact on solvent expense.

3. Opportunity to Receive Custom Orders

Many replacement solvent based degreaser suppliers supply stock solutions that are formulated to cover a wide range of options. However, many companies and organizations need to upgrade the options that a solvent based degreaser offer. This is where working with a provider of custom cleaning solutions can help dramatically. The manufacturer can formulate solvent based degreaser that is specifically designed for your organization’s type of cleaning purposes.

4. Compatible With Parts Washing Systems

Last but certainly not least, if you use an industrial parts washing systems, as many large organizations do, it’s essential to identify a solvent that synchronizes with your parts washing system. Furthermore, when the system is used for vapor degreasing, a solvent may be chosen that can be recycled by being purged and condensed in a cooling unit in the parts washing system unit.

Replace Your Solvent Based Degreaser Today

Contact Ecolink for choose from a variety of eco friendly cleaning solutions that are environmentally preferred or environmentally safe, without jeopardizing your well-established cleaning operations. To find out about healthier solutions for your workers, which have the same cleaning power as the original solutions, call us today at (800) 563-1305, or fill out the contact form on our website.

How Important is the Flash Point of a Solvent?

The flash point of a solvent is the lowest possible temperature at which it can vaporize to form an ignitable vapor. Flash point is often confused with “autoignition temperature”, which is the temperature at which a solvent ignites without an ignition source. It is also confused with “fire point”, which is the temperature at which the ignitable vapor burns after it has been ignited.

All three concepts are important for applying flammable solvents in the proper way and ensuring that the environment where they are applied is safe. However, flash point tends to receive the most attention because the ignition of flammable vapors happens so insidiously. For example, flammable volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can vaporize at room temperature and ignite.

Choosing an Appropriate Flashpoint
It should be mentioned that not all cleaning solvents have a flashpoint. Some feature a formulation that makes them completely inflammable. However, the movement to create non-flammable solvents is still in its infancy compared to the practice of manufacturing flammable ones. So, it is not uncommon for the solvent a company needs to have a flashpoint.

The question, of course, is: when it comes to flash point, how low is too low? The answer depends largely on the application for which the solvent is used. For example, a solvent that is used to degrease hot jet engines soon after they exit the runway should ideally have a higher flashpoint than a solvent that is used to degrease the same engines after they have cooled.

If you would like to know a specific temperature at which the flash point of a solvent becomes a safety concern, the Department of Transportation (DOT) states that “any materials with flash points lower than 60 degrees C (140 F) [should] be handled with extra caution.” Taking “extra caution” with a highly flammable solvent involves the following considerations, among others.

  • Where and how the solvent is stored
  • Protective equipment for those who use the solvent
  • The application for which the solvent is used
  • Ignition sources in the environment of application

Failing to consider these factors can result in fires that cause major property damage property and seriously injure workers, the latter of which can precipitate liability lawsuits and workers compensation payouts that could easily reach a high six-figure mark, and commonly exceeds the mark in the case of injury lawsuits. Investing in a high flash point solvent can potentially save your company lots of money in the form of avoidable equipment damage and worker injuries.

Contact Us Today
If you have questions about the flashpoint of a solvent that you are considering using, or you need assistance choosing the right solvent for a particular application, the solvent specialists at Ecolink are here to help. We sell a variety of solvents that have a high flash point or no flash point. For help assessing your solvent needs in terms of flash point, call us today at (800) 563-1305 to schedule a free consultation, or fill out the contact form located on our website.

Bromopropane Replacements: Switch to FluoSolv®

Two years ago, the National Toxicology Program (NTC) and a panel of scientific experts voted unanimously to categorize 1-bromopropane (a.k.a n-propyl bromide) as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” No studies have measured the carcinogenic effects of it on humans, but the solution has been observed to produce negative neurological effects in people, such as headaches, profound dizziness, loss of consciousness, slurred speech, and difficulty walking.

To make matters worse, these conditions may not cease when exposure to 1-bromopropane is discontinued. Because chronic exposure the solution can cause permanent neurological damage, those who are chronically exposed to, and suffer permanent disability as a result, often file liability lawsuits against their employers, particularly because the damage has permanently reduced their earning capacity and exposed them to a high level of pain and suffering.

Bromopropane Replacements
The negative neurological effects that 1-Bromopropane produces in humans, as well as its toxic effect on the environment, should make companies that frequently use the solution look for bromopropane replacements. Several products are marketed as bromopropane replacements, but not all of them have an excellent safety profile. FluoSolv® — a line of proprietary solutions from EcoLink — is an example of a Bromopropane replacement that has a great safety profile.

For most large-scale users of 1-bromopropane, the primary goal of finding a replacement is to select one that performs with the same power as 1-bromopropane but is formulated to be safer for humans and the environment. If your company frequently uses 1-bromopropane for any of the following applications, replacing the solution with FluoSolv® is an efficient way to transition a toxic work environment into one that poses fewer health risks and is better for the environment.

  • Vapor immersion operations
  • Degreasing operations
  • Adhesive spray applications
  • Dry cleaning
  • Aircraft maintenance
  • Asphalt production
  • Synthetic fiber manufacturing

FluoSolv® products are formulated to be drop-in solutions for the replacement of brominated solvents, as well as chlorinated solvents, chlorofluorocarbon solvents, and hydrochlorofluorocarbon solvents. Unlike products that contain these ingredients, FluoSolv® solutions are formulated with azeotropic fluorinated fluids and trans-dichloroethylene (t-DCE) that are non-flammable, non-hazardous, non-ozone depleting, and protect workers from the neurotoxic effects that result from incidental or chronic contact with 1-bromopropane.

FluoSolv® products are used in a variety of industries by companies that need bromopropane replacements, including: aerospace and military, metal finishing, electronics manufacturing and maintenance, oil and gas, optics and fiber optics maintenance, semiconductor/SMT/wave maintenance, transportation and transit maintenance, medical tool cleaning, and general industrial cleaning. We will help you choose the right FluoSolv® products for your needs.

Place Your Order Today
If your company needs a drop-in solution for replacing 1-bromopropane products, our line of FluoSolv® solutions make excellent bromopropane replacements. If you need assistance choosing a FluoSolv® product that meets the requirements of 1-bromopropane in the capacity that you use it, call us today at (800) 563-1305, or fill out the contact form on our website. We look forward to providing you with a solution that is safe for your workers and the environment.