Friday, January 19, 2018
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Glossary of solvents and related terms used in various industries

There are 47 entries in this glossary.
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Term Definition

Distillate removed from the still in ml/minute or liters/hour.

Take-off rate

Amount of distillate removed from the still in a given period of time.


Naturally occurring organic compounds typically found in essential oils and citrus oils, used as cleaning agents in semi-aqueous systems. D-limonene, a hydrocarbon, is the most commonly used terpene in precision cleaning applications; some terpenes contain oxygen. Terpene compounds are found in motor fuels, dry cleaning processes; antifreeze; resins, perfumes, medicines, varnishes, lacquers and solvents. When evaporated, applied, spilled, or combusted they emit hydrocarbons into the atmosphere, which allows the creation of harmful ozone (O 3 ).

Theoretical plates

Unit used to measure the efficiency of the still. The theoretical plate is the contrivance which produces the same difference in composition that exists at equilibration of a liquid and a vapor. The more plates there are in a distillation column the greater the efficiency and separating ability.


The amount of liquid that can be distilled in a given time period.


Toluene, also known as methylbenzene, or Toluol, is a clear water-insoluble liquid with the typical smell of paint thinners, reminiscent of the related compound benzene. It is an aromatic hydrocarbon that is widely used as an industrial feedstock and as a solvent. Like other solvents, toluene is also used as an inhalant drug for its intoxicating properties; however this causes severe neurological harm. Toluol is a clear, colorless liquid with a distinctive smell. It occurs naturally in crude oil and in the tolu tree. It is also produced in the process of making gasoline and other fuels from crude oil and making coke from coal.

Total reflux

A condition which exists when the reflux valve is totally closed and all the condensed liquid is being returned down the column.


Trichloroethane is a stable, heavy low boiling-point colorless liquid, toxic if inhaled. Trichloroethane is either of two isomeric halogenated hydrocarbons, CH3-CCl3 or CH2Cl-CHCl2, that are used in several industrial applications, especially as solvents; Any of many derivatives of these compounds.

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