Safer and Effective Solvents for Paint Stripping

EPA Grant Number: SU836780
Title: Safer and Effective Solvents for Paint Stripping
Investigators:
Institution: University of Massachusetts - Lowell
EPA Project Officer: Hunt, Sherri
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 2016 through August 31, 2017
Project Amount: $14,840
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2016) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Sustainability , P3 Awards , P3 Challenge Area - Materials & Chemicals

Description:

Identify and evaluate alternatives to methylene chloride that have equal or better paint stripping performance and do not introduce any significant environmental, health, and safety hazards.

Objective:

Methylene chloride is a widely used component for paint stripping products.  Methylene chloride is highly volatile and the primary route of exposure is inhalation. There have been numerous occupational and consumer deaths during paint stripping operations resulting from acute methylene chloride poisoning. Further, methylene chloride is classified as a human carcinogen. Consequently, there is increasing demand for paint stripping products that do not contain methylene chloride. Several commercially available products do not contain methylene chloride, however, their paint stripping performance is significantly below that of methylene chloride, and the replacement chemicals, such as N-Methyl-2- Pyrrolidone (NMP), introduce other environmental, health, and safety hazards. The objective of this research is to identify and evaluate alternatives to methylene chloride that have equal or better paint stripping performance and do not introduce any significant environmental, health, and safety hazards.

Approach:

In Phase I of this project, the multidisciplinary team will first identify solvent blends that have comparable or better solvency characteristics than methylene chloride for various paint coatings. The team will use the Hansen Solubility Parameters in Practice software tool to identify solvent blends with the desired solvency parameters (diffusion, polarity, and hydrogen bonding). The new solvent blends identified will then be evaluated for environmental, health, and safety issues, as well as commercial availability and cost. The solvent blends will then undergo technical performance testing for paint stripping efficacy on various substrates and coatings at the Toxics Use Reduction Institute Laboratory. The final validation testing of the solvent blends will then take place at Belcastro Furniture Restoration.

Expected Results:

The identification and initial evaluation of solvent blends with equal or better paint stripping performance, comparable ingredient costs, and a safer environmental, health, and safety profile as compared to methylene chloride.

Supplemental Keywords:

Green Chemistry, Paint Stripping, Methylene chloride, Toxics use reduction, N-Methyl-2- Pyrrolidone, Environmental Health, Alternatives assessment, Formulations, Hansen Solubility Parameters;