Midwest Environmental Services Industrial Waste Management

EPA is finding 1-Bromopropane (n-Propyl Bromide) an acceptable substitute for CFC’s

1-Bromopropane (n-Propyl Bromide) is an alternative to ozone depleting substances in some, but not all, end uses. Its properties make it a highly suitable source for use in solvent production in many industrial applications. 1-Propyl Bromide has no flash point and has a low ozone depleting potential. Basically, it has very similar characteristics to 1,1,1-trichloroethane without the adverse effect on the environment.

The applications of n-Propyl Bromide include dissolving fats, waxes, or resins. It can also be used in the production process of various solvent-based products as an integral part of the end product, or as a media in which the production takes place. So far, two of it’s main uses are in degreasing and in spray adhesives. It is also being considered for use in dry cleaning and for many other uses as replacement for other chemicals that are depleting the upper ozone layer.

The EPA is finding n-Propyl Bromide acceptable as a substitute for CFC-113 and methyl chloroform in metals, electronics, and precision cleaning; however findings indicate it to be unacceptable in aerosols as a solvent or adhesive carrier. This is due in part to data from a number of facilities and from modeling scenarios indicating likely exposure in excess of potentially protective levels, and therefore, unacceptable health risks for users of n-Propyl Bromide based aerosols and adhesives. The EPA plans on issuing a final ruling in 2008.

Although n-Propyl Bromide is not currently regulated as a hazardous waste, the EPA recommends that you dispose of it as any other halogenated solvent to avoid impacting aquatic life. It is moderately mobile in soil, tends to volatilize and break down easily in water, with a hydrolysis half-life of 26 days. The toxic effects in humans have not been well studied because it is a recently introduced chemical and most information comes from animal testing.

1-Bromopropane (n-Propyl Bromide) may not be the answer to ozone depleting chemicals, but it is definitely a step forward in trying to find an alternative

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Midwest Environmental Services

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