Environmental project no. 2015, 2018

Substitution of solvents in printing inks

A project supported by Kemi i Kredsløb


Substitution of three solvents has been attempted: methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), toluene and extraction benzine (b. p. 100-140°C). The solvents are used to dissolve specific binders in printing inks, but are of concern due to negative effects on the human health and the environment. Alternative solvents for laboratory tests were identified using the software, Hansen Solubility Parameters in Practice (“HSPiP”). The software showed excellent correlation between theory and practice and thus saves working hours from typical trial-and-error based approaches. For three out of the four binders, the alternative solvent combinations fulfilled all technical requirements and had improved health/environment profiles. The solvent cyclopentyl methyl ether (CPME) is part of the solvent combinations for all three binders. However, at the time of writing, only a high grade of CPME is available within EU, leading to an unacceptably high price. Hence, the solutions have not yet been fully implemented and tested with Resino Inks’ customers.

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