Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are a source of worry because they contribute to low-altitude smog in cities. Obviously, the most common VOC is gasoline, but that is not a regulated solvent so the VOC question never comes up. However, in some regions such as Southern California the government is regulating VOC content in many products, including windshield wiper fluids and barbecue starter fluid. If you have questions about VOC rules and how they might apply to your application, contact MicroCare.

The burning of organic materials, such as gasoline or coal, produces smog over cities around the world. While solvents are a tiny part of this very big problem, the use of low VOC solvents makes a difference. Photo: smog over Mexico City.
The burning of organic materials, such as gasoline or coal, produces smog over cities around the world. While solvents are a tiny part of this very big problem, the use of low VOC solvents makes a difference. Photo: smog over Mexico City.

In general, many of the MicroCare™, Vertrel™, Tergo™ and Bromothane™ cleaners contain some levels of VOCs and are photoreactive. This may make them an unacceptable choice in some communities with rigid VOC regulations. Check the Product Specification for more details on the product you are considering as a cleaning fluid.

However, it’s important to realize that many, many common chemicals have a high VOC content. In general, chemicals that have high VOC ratings do not contribute to global warming. Low VOC ratings generally mean a chemical is likely to have a high GWP. It’s like a child’s teeter-totter: one when side goes up, the other side must go down. It is almost impossible for a solvent to be both low in VOC content and low in GWP. The few cleaners that do accomplish this magic trick usually are flammable and would not be suited for vapor degreaser operations.

The table below lists the organic content for the industries most popular cleaning choices, almost all of which are available from MicroCare:

Property Brand Name or  Description Principle Supplier Base Chemistry Organic Content
Not-In-Kind Benchmarks Water <Many> H20 0
IPA Alcohol* <Many> Alcohol 790
First Generation Trichloroethylene (TCE or Trike) <Many> Chlorine 1460
Perchloroethylene (PCE or Perc) <Many> Chlorine 1620
Freon™ TF† DuPont CFC-113 0
Second Generation Genesolv® 2004† Allied-Signal HCFC-141b 47
AK-225† Asahi HCFC-225 0
Bromothane™ (nPB) MicroCare Bromine 1350
Third Generation Novec® 71DA 3M HFE-7100 n/a
Vertrel™ XF Chemours HFC-43-10 Exempt
MicroCare™ HDS MicroCare HFC-365 500
Vertrel™ SFR Chemours Trans 1063
Fourth Generation Opteon™ Sion/SF79 Chemours MPHE 278
Solstice® PF Honeywell HFO-1233zd Exempt
AE-3000 Asahi HFE-347pc-f 0
Tergo™ Generation Tergo™ Metal MicroCare HFO-110 435
Tergo™ CFCF Rinse MicroCare HFO-110 Exempt
Tergo™ High Perf. Flux Remover MicroCare HFO-110 435

 

For the specific details for each product, see the individual Product Specifications available on this web site.

“n/a” indicated the rating is not available.

“Exempt” indicates the product has such a short atmospheric life that it is not considered a significant contributor to low-altitude smog.

* Indicates a flammable liquid unsuitable for vapor degreasing but is included here just for completeness and ease of comparison.

† Indicates a Class 1 or Class 2 ozone-depleting substance no longer on the market; included here just for ease of comparison.

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