The term “Solvents” refers to a class of chemical compounds described by function – the term derives from Latin, meaning roughly to “loosen.” In chemistry, solvents – which are generally in liquid form – are used to dissolve, suspend or extract other materials, usually without chemically changing either the solvents or the other materials.
Many different solvents are used in a wide variety of everyday product applications – from paint, personal care products and pharmaceuticals, to pesticides, cleaners and inks. Without solvents, many products we rely on would not perform as well.
Varied and versatile different solvents meet specific needs to make products with optimal performance attributes, including spray paints that dry quickly and don’t clog the spray nozzle, inks that don’t smudge, paints that look good and last a long time, and strong cleaners that are good for tough, greasy jobs.
Types of Solvents: The chemical classification of a solvent is based on its chemical structure.
For manufacturers, solvents are subject to a variety of federal and state regulations, including regulations that govern the industrial storage and disposal of hazardous wastes, workplace exposure limits, requirements for safe transport of chemical substances, and regulations pertaining to release of chemicals to air, land and water.