Development of Ink Recycling Process Technology

EPA Contract Number: 68D30126
Title: Development of Ink Recycling Process Technology
Investigators: Jones, Michael
Small Business: Resource Recycling and Remediation Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 1993 through March 1, 1994
Project Amount: $49,993
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1993) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Pollution Prevention , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


While printing packages for the consumer products industry printers generate hazardous ink waste in quantities that qualify the industry as one of the nation's largest sources of hazardous waste. In fact, solvent components in ink waste are among 17 chemicals targeted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for minimization.

The proposed process technology recycles ink waste on-site versus disposal. By merging state-of-the-art spectrophotometry, new software and innovative filtration methods, ink waste destined for incineration becomes reusable ink.

This prototype process originated from a successful study funded in part by an EPA grant. The process begins with a procedural change from waste management to resource management and requires disciplined ink waste collection and segregation into chemical type and primary color. Segregated materials are analyzed using advanced spectrophotometric instrumentation, identified by a unique software, and remanufactured using proprietary technology. The process results in a closed loop of ink and solvent resources recycled into press-ready ink.

Success of the project will result in a demonstration of the commercial feasibility of recycling for nearly 1,000 package printers and 300+ product printers. Further success will lead to other segments in the printing industry comprising over 52,000 plants.

Supplemental Keywords:

Scientific Discipline, Waste, Water, Sustainable Industry/Business, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Chemistry, Technology for Sustainable Environment, New/Innovative technologies, Engineering, Hazardous, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, solvent waste, solvent recovery, printing industry, recovery, recycled waste products, hazardous waste, recycling, solvent recycling, innovative technology, pollution prevention

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final