What Solvents Can Be Used as MEK Replacements?

What Solvents Can Be Used as MEK Replacements? 

MEK, also known as methyl ethyl ketone, is a familiar chemical to many industries, as it is relied on for a wide range of processes, such as  

  • Manufacturing of synthetic rubbers, plastics, paraffin wax, and paints 
  • Manufacturing of gums, resins, and coatings  
  • In household products like varnishes and paint removers 
  • As a cleaning agent 
  • Dry-erase markers 

Though utilized in so many processes and products, MEK use can be dangerous, mostly for industrial workers and those who may be continuously exposed to the chemical.  

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the dangers of MEK and help you find MEK replacements that are not only safer for the environment but also for your workers’ health. 

Why You Should Look into MEK Replacements 

Some of the concerning hazards associated with exposure to MEK are listed below: 

  • Highly flammable 
  • Can cause severe eye and respiratory damage 
  • Can cause negative health effects if inhaled, such as coughing, wheezing, nausea, dizziness, blurred vision or even unconsciousness 
  • Can damage the central nervous system at high concentrations 

Are there any Solvents that Can Successfully Replace MEK? 

A common misconception is that although traditional solvents like MEK are hazardous, they are too effective to replace, but this is far from the reality. There are multiple MEK replacements that are just as effective and considerably less toxic, such as: 

  •  Acetone 
  • Dimethyl carbonate 
  • Preptone  

Acetone and Dimethyl Carbonate  

Acetone is the typical alternative that many industries use as MEK replacements, mostly because the chemicals exhibit very similar properties and behaviors as ketone solvents. Acetone is less toxic and can be utilized in most of the applications that MEK is typically used for, such as in…  

  • Paint removers 
  • Varnishes 
  • Coatings 
  • Cleaning agents 

Dimethyl carbonate is also another common example of an eco-friendly MEK replacement that is less toxic and can be used in the manufacturing of coatings, adhesives, and as a cleaning agent. 

What Is Preptone? 

Unlike acetone or dimethyl carbonate, Preptone is a specifically-formulated low VOC wipe solvent that utilizes a combination blend of high purity terpenes in an acetone base. The benefits of Preptone make it the ideal replacement for hazardous solvents like MEK and TCE: 

  • Fast evaporation, similar to TCE and MEK 
  • Strong non-polar solvency for stubborn soils and coatings 
  • Stronger performance than most ketone solvents, due to the utilization of terpenes 
  • The acetone component is VOC exempt, while the non-exempt component is low VOC 
  • No halogenated or ozone-depleting components 

Want to Try Preptone for Yourself? 

Looking to see if you are eligible to test out a sample of Preptone for industrial needs. Our staff at Ecolink is ready to answer any questions or find the best product for you! Click here to reach out to us today!