For many, the topic of carbon emissions appears too big to tackle. Yet, the small beginnings have significance. Creative and viable tactics are providing a future where carbon emissions can be converted into renewable resources and funneled back into both industrial and small-scale operations.
The dry-cleaning industry is just one of the means that can utilize recycled carbon dioxide sourced from carbon capture. Converting carbon emissions into liquid carbon dioxide for dry cleaning offers a functional solution in the collective effort to reverse an otherwise fatal problem.
Since the 1930s, dry cleaners have been using perchloroethylene (perc) solvents to clean clothes with minimal or no water to prevent damage like shrinkage. However effective perc may be, it does not excuse the fact that the chlorinated chemical is considered a carcinogen to humans. The solvent is petroleum-based and has been known to cause side effects specifically to the central nervous system. Exposure to perc can induce headaches, dizziness, memory impairment, nausea and other malfunctions.
In the 1990s, the EPA began investigating perc among other chemicals. One of the EPA’s many duties is to evaluate chemicals that may have negative impacts on public health and welfare and the environment. While they did not ban perc completely, they urged dry cleaners to implement safer alternatives. California has been phasing out perc since 2007 and is on track to ban its use in dry cleaning by 2023.
More and more studies show the need for non-toxic, organic, and eco-friendly alternatives to harmful chemicals, and liquid carbon dioxide dry cleaning meets that demand.
Liquid carbon dioxide dry cleaning is slowly becoming a more popular method in the dry-cleaning industry as more customers are seeking “green dry cleaning.” Customers are wary of harsh chemicals and their side effects on public health, as well as the negative effects they have on the environment. Liquid carbon dioxide has proved to be a successful replacement for otherwise toxic cleaning solvents.
Considering the fact that carbon dioxide is in many of the beverages we drink, it is perfect for dry cleaning because it is non-toxic and non-flammable. Liquid Co2 is coupled with another recyclable detergent in a cleaning drum at room temperature. Other solvents can often require heating, which requires more energy to perform traditional dry-cleaning processes. Since liquid Co2 dry cleaning does not require heating, it saves energy, making the costly machine worth the initial investment for a number of reasons. Dry cleaning clothing at room temperature decreases the risk of fading, pilling, chemical odors, and setting permanent stains.
Not only is liquid Co2 as a cleaning solvent a wise choice for those seeking to abide by eco-friendly standards, but it is also cost-effective long-term. Fiscally responsible store owners will not only find that it is an affordable gas up front, but that it can be recaptured and recycled for multiple cleaning cycles as little is released into the air. Unlike other detergents, it can also clean a large number of garments in a single cycle – up to 35 pounds according to Cool Clean Technologies.
There are many positives to choosing liquid carbon dioxide dry cleaning over chlorine-based dry cleaning, and many customers are beginning to request it over other methods.
Rocky Mountain Air is a domestic atmospheric gas supplier in the western United States. In our pursuit to deliver our customers flawless dependability in all that we do, we are also striving to support consumers of carbon dioxide in the diverse number of industries that demand it. We are always eager to hear about the creative efforts scientists and engineers are taking to combat carbon emissions through recycling and sending it back into the marketplace.
RMA offers a number of customizable solutions to your carbon dioxide needs including liquid Co2, high pressure Co2, and bulk tanks. Our expert team members are at your service to assess your needs and design efficient delivery options so that you always have what you need when you need it. Contact your local RMA branch in any one of our five states (Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Nebraska) today. We look forward to serving you!