Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a common chemical used in several industrial settings. While this chemical is still a preferable choice for many companies, its popularity is steadily decreasing for a few reasons. Read on to learn more about the challenges trichloroethylene suppliers are facing, and how these challenges are affecting manufacturers and consumers.
Common Uses for TCE
Trichloroethylene has long been a popular industrial solvent for various applications:
- Degreasing – For decades, it has been primarily used for degreasing purposes because of its ability to easily dissolve grease and oils. It is one of the most common solvents used in vapor degreasing processes because of its high boiling point and non-flammability.
- Additive – The solvent is occasionally added to products like certain adhesives, paint removers, paint thinners and spot removers.
- Refrigerant manufacturing – It is a common precursor for hydrofluorocarbon refrigerant production.
- Extraction solvent – It is considered an effective extraction solvent for grease, waxes and oils, especially among textile processing industries which require it to scour certain fabrics.
In recent years, there has been a sudden increase in demand for both vapor degreasing solvents and hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants. Since TCE is an important factor among both industries, there has been a lot of pressure put on trichloroethylene suppliers to meet the demand requirements.
Why Are Trichloroethylene Suppliers Struggling?
Due to certain factors, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a labor shortage in dozens of industrial sectors, not just chemical ones. But the labor shortages and temporary halted production of these facilities has resulted in an inability for trichloroethylene suppliers to adequately meet the sudden increase in demand for vapor degreasing solvents.
Another factor that is putting more pressure on these suppliers is trichloroethylene regulations, both inside and outside of the U.S. Because of TCE’s high toxicity and negative environmental effects, stringent regulations across Europe and certain areas of the U.S. have been implemented, resulting in companies having to work harder to comply with these regulations.
How Does this Affect Trichloroethylene Suppliers, Manufacturers, and Consumers?
Because of high demand and more regulations, suppliers have no choice but to significantly increase the prices of TCE. This directly affects consumers as well, as they now have to either spend more money on the solvent or find an equally effective yet cheaper replacement.
Luckily, there are now many sustainable chemical replacements for hazardous solvents available. These replacements are not only eco-friendly and worker-friendly, but are cost-effective by minimizing excess chemical usage and having less regulations that companies need to comply with.
Interested in Sustainable Chemical Replacements?
LssChemicals provides sustainable, environmentally preferred chemicals for various industrial applications. Not only are these products eco-friendly, but they ensure the protection of workers’ health and safety.