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Dry cleaning with CO2

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I've been reading about dry cleaning with CO2; has anyone experiened this? What was your opinion - did it work as well as conventional methods?
post #2 of 10
What, do they use supercritical CO2? If so, I expect it would be very thorough on any polar or low-molecular weight contaminates due to a combination of high density, high diffusion coefficient, and low viscosity, on par with a gas. I would wonder about its ability to deal with high molecular weight non polar substances, such as certain fats and oils. I'd prefer it and give it a shot at least if I could. Regards, Huntsman
post #3 of 10
I'm curious about this as well...
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntsman
What, do they use supercritical CO2? If so, I expect it would be very thorough on any polar or low-molecular weight contaminates due to a combination of high density, high diffusion coefficient, and low viscosity, on par with a gas. I would wonder about its ability to deal with high molecular weight non polar substances, such as certain fats and oils.

I'd prefer it and give it a shot at least if I could.

Regards,
Huntsman


You know, it's funny, but when I read the OP, I had exactly the same reaction!

post #5 of 10
I had some pants cleaned with CO2 a couple years ago and they turned out fine. They were not heavily stained with grease or oil so I can't say how it would work on those materials.

Unfortunately, that chain of cleaners went bankrupt and there are no CO2 cleaners in Vancouver anymore.
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntsman
I would wonder about its ability to deal with high molecular weight non polar substances, such as certain fats and oils.

I'd prefer it and give it a shot at least if I could.

Regards,
Huntsman

They actually use liquid CO2. And it's the other way around, CO2 works very well for nonpolar substances and is similar in effectiveness to hexane. Remember, it's nonpolar despite the two oxygens.

And regarding the OP, the biggest benefit of CO2 cleaning imo is the lack of heat in the process.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm unfamiliar with the "Supercritical" CO2 mentioned by Huntsman. I've just read a few bits and pieces about it through different sources. An online search showed that Consumer Reports thought it did a better job than the standard method and without any cancer causing chemicals in the process.
I live in Tampa and am seeking cleaners that use this process. Just thought I'd ask for some feedback first.
Thanks to all.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek
They actually use liquid CO2. And it's the other way around, CO2 works very well for nonpolar substances and is similar in effectiveness to hexane. Remember, it's nonpolar despite the two oxygens.

And regarding the OP, the biggest benefit of CO2 cleaning imo is the lack of heat in the process.


You are correct that liquid CO2 is "used", but only in the sense that it is pressurized into the supercritical region. In other words the cleaning uses supercritical CO2 as a solvent.

Aus
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aus_MD
You are correct that liquid CO2 is "used", but only in the sense that it is pressurized into the supercritical region. In other words the cleaning uses supercritical CO2 as a solvent.

Aus

I understand the difference but I never really looked in to how the machines work and am actually a little surprised that the cleaners don't advertise it as such. Supercritical CO2 sounds so much cooler than liquid CO2 from a marketing perspective.
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek
They actually use liquid CO2. And it's the other way around, CO2 works very well for nonpolar substances and is similar in effectiveness to hexane. Remember, it's nonpolar despite the two oxygens.

And regarding the OP, the biggest benefit of CO2 cleaning imo is the lack of heat in the process.

You're right, all right. I know that, too, dunno why I wrote it reversed -- chemical dyslexia. I considered using it once because of its selectivity and high diffusion coefficient. Needed to dissolve some paraffin and leave other stuff behind.

I think they mightn't use 'supercritical' as it sounds quite dangerous. Then you'd have hordes of people trying to close those explosive drycleaners. Dihydrogen monoxide, anyone?

Regards,
Huntsman
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