Graham Magnetics, Inc.
The purpose of the MIBK Recovery/Recycle Project was to develop a production method to recover methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) and tetrahydrofuran (THF) from the spent solvent waste stream. Graham Magnetics' solvent recovery operations were designed to remove THF from water, and had never been used to separate MIBK and THF into re-usable solvents of acceptable quality for the stringent demands of the magnetic tape manufacturing process.
While the process of distillation for purification of solvents is not at all novel, the use of the specific equipment at Graham Magnetics is not in line with its original design specifications and was not anticipated to be as straight-forward as it was. This was, literally, a "You can't do that on that equipment" type of project.
This project has eliminated several hundred drums of hazardous liquid waste from the process of transportation and incineration, reduced human exposure to a hazardous solution, and reduced the need for production of MIBK and THF to replace solvent which had been disposed of. It is also an ongoing production process, which will allow these environmental benefits throughout the lifetime of this project.
Details of Reductions
Additional Information :
Implementation of this project has resulted in a savings of greater than 150,000 pounds of MIBK, approximately 70,000 pounds of THF, and the elimination of about 610 55-gallon drums of flammable hazardous waste, for a combined savings of more than $200,000 through December 1993. The initial investment was less than $1,000; therefore, it had a payback of a few days.