Component Management

US EPA approve new cleaning fluid

29th October 2015
Peter Smith

Following years of research and regulatory reviews involving numerous federal agencies, the US Environmental Protection Agency, through its SNAP process, has approved the commercialization of the new molecule from Chemours (ex-DuPont) optimized for critical cleaning. With this approval, the new material now can be offered for sale in almost every country in the world.

The specific molecule is “methoxytridecafluoroheptene” (MPHE) - rolls right off the tongue!!!. It will be marketed under the trade name Vertrel Sion by Chemours. MicroCare is the authorized source for Chemours fluids in many parts of the world. MicroCare made the first commercial shipments of drums and pails of Vertrel Sion fluids to customers in the US in October.

Tom Tattersall, MicroCare Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, sees this as a breakthrough. “We’re thrilled that the last regulatory hurdle finally has been cleared. Vertrel Sion fluids will help companies clean better, faster, less expensively and with the lowest GWP environmental profile than any current technology. We are confident it will become the preferred replacement chemistry for nPB, TCE, HCFCs and high cost HFE precision cleaners.”

Nonflammable MPHE is in the HFO family of chemistries. This new fluid is approved for use in vapour degreasers, in aerosol dispensers and in adhesive applications. In terms of cleaning performance and handling, it replaces trichloroethylene, perchloroethylene, n-propyl bromide (nPB), HCFC-225, alcohol, acetone, MEK and other fluids where maximum cleaning power is needed.

“The first product we will be shipping is an extra-strength degreaser,” explains David Ferguson, MicroCare Product Manager for Precision Cleaning Products. “Long-term we will tailor the formulations, add new capabilities, package it in aerosols, and adapt this molecule for a variety of critical cleaning chores. It’s versatile, it works great, it’s safe and it’s extremely economical.” The first Vertrel Sion product to be commercialized is an azeotrope of MPHE and t-DCE. This formulation compares favourably to the most aggressive chlorinated and brominated solvents.

The product is generally considered very safe for people, with an 8-Hour TWA exposure limit of 200 ppm. It features a Kb value of 103, the boiling point is 47˚C, the density is 1.28 g/L, the surface tension is ~21 dyn/cm and the viscosity is 0.42 cP. These characteristics make the first Vertrel Sion azeotrope an outstanding choice for vapor degreasing.

The Vertrel Sion fluid is exceptionally stable, so there is no acid testing or stabilizer maintenance. The product can be used in standard designed vapour degreasing equipment. This means costs are minimized and the environmental footprint is dramatically reduced. MicroCare plans a tightly structured roll-out of the new product in 4Q2015 and early 2016. For more than two years the company has performed extensive beta-testing of the chemistry and is “extremely confident” of the molecule’s behaviour and performance.

 

 

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