Colorado Solvent Recycling Facility Increases Capacity to Meet Growing Demand

Our Industrial Business team recently completed a capital investment project at our treatment, storage and recycling facility in Henderson, Colorado.

The facility recycles solvent and provides a wide variety of services and solutions for customers with hazardous waste challenges.

To expand the facility’s solvent recycling capabilities, a new fractional distillation column was installed that will not only meet our existing customers’ increased demand for solvent recycling, but will also provide additional capacity for growth. The new column is significantly larger than the existing unit and is expected to increase throughput volume by up to four times. It will also provide the facility with more powerful separation capability due to its increased height, diameter and number of valve trays.

Our Henderson facility services major Industrial customers who generate solvents with value and they prefer solvent recycling over traditional disposal methods. For some customers, we recycle their solvent wastes and independently sell the finished products to various commercial end users. Other customers are set up as “toll” customers where we process their solvent waste and return it to them for continued use. We’re able to reclaim many solvents to 99.5 percent purity.

The goal of our ongoing, in-house Research and Development initiatives is to recover solvents from a variety of difficult waste mixtures. Current projects include recovery of solvents such as N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone, Propylene glycol, methyl ether acetate, Ethyl Lactate, Methyl Ethyl Ketone, Tetrahydrofuran, Heptane, gamma-Butyrolactone, Cyclohexanone and solvent thinners. These solvents are used in making inks, coatings and cleaners; in pharmaceutical preparations, food additives, and fragrances; and to recover hydrocarbons in the processing of petrochemicals – among many other uses.

The new distillation column was successfully commissioned on August 5, after several months of diligent work and team effort.

  • Located 12 miles northeast of Denver
  • Operates 24 hours / 7 days a week
  • Receives solvents for recycling in all types of containers, including drums, totes, tankers and rail cars
  • Part B RCRA permit issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
  • Fractional distillation capabilities
  • Blending of containerized and bulk quantities of waste solvents or aqueous wastes in tanks
  • State-of-the-art rail capability

Fractional distillation defined

Fractional distillation technology uses the difference in the boiling point of each chemical in a mixture to separate it into its component parts, or fractions. Vacuum or pressure can be applied to a column to create larger boiling point differences between chemicals or compounds. In practice, the chemical mixture is heated to a temperature at which one or more fractions of the compound will vaporize at its boiling point and separate from the remaining mixture. The vapors are then condensed by cooling and the distillate is collected in receiver tanks.