Re: Recyclers long response

From:Barbara Stancel

Dear Stacey,

We have used solvent recyclers for 12 years with excellent results. Last 
summer we came into a windfall of hazardous waste money. We replaced our old 
glass distillation units with two CBG recyclers. They give us consistent 
quality of solvents. I do not know what the inside of the tanks look like, 
but I can tell you they drain very well.(Especially if you empty the carboy 
and forget to put it back under the drain line!) The final percentage of 
alcohol depends on the type of alcohol you recycle. The more lower grade 
alcohol (high water content like 50% or 70%)you place in the recycler, the 
more water stays attached to the alcohol and the lower your percent of 
recovery. On most of our runs we have 95% recovery. Some are as high as 97%, 
some as low as 93.5%

We looked at all the available enclosed system solvent recycling units we 
could find.  I will not mention any other names.

Why did we chose the CBG?  First, someone else had money they HAD to spend 
before the end of the fiscal year. Second, the entire CBG units are on 
rollers and we really like being able to roll the whole unit out of the way 
on the rare occasion when our floors get cleaned. Sometimes to other labs 
for solvent recycling. Our old glass units were literally stuck to the 
floor. One of the other enclosed system units had a rolling tank, but we 
really like being able to move the entire unit. Third, they are very, very 
quiet and absolutely odor free. (Fourth, did I mention they are on rollers 
and very mobile and we really like that?)

The CBG units are very easy to use. We were fortunate to get the two units, 
one each for the alcohol and xylene; therefore, I cannot comment the 
procedure or ease of using one unit for both solvents.

My last comments are in support of using recycled xylene on the tissue 
processors. In 1991 and 1992 we began experiencing problems with under 
processed tissues. To make a very long story short, we discovered we had 
xylene contamination in all of our alcohols. We tried to blame our 
recyclers, but after running numerous GCs on the alcohols and xylene over a 
period of 4 weeks, we came to the realization that our contamination was an 
action of the tissue processor. Some how the tissue processor was back 
sucking xylene into ALL of our solutions, even the formalin in station #1. 
No one could explain how, it just did.  The following year, our friendly 
hazardous waste team found us the money for a new tissue processor. (We were 
having to hazardous waste all of our alcohol and formalin coming off the 
processor because it was contaminated!)

We use our recycled xylene every where. If we were to start seeing a 
problem, I feel the problem would probably not be with our recycling. We 
have learned that most of our problems are "Tech"nical errors.

If you have any questions I would be glad to answer them off the NET.

Histologically yours,

Barbara H. Stancel, HTL(ASCP)HT
USDA, FSIS, OPHS, Eastern Laboratory, Pathology
RRC, 950 College Station Road
Athens, Georgia  30604
phone: (706) 546-3556
fax: (706) 546-3589

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