Glossary Index

Organic solvent


An organic chemical that is capable of dissolving another substance. Solvents are usually clear and colorless liquids and many have a characteristic odor. They are used in a number of industrial processes including the manufacture of paints and coatings, the cleaning of equipment, and the degreasing of surfaces in metal fabricating industries.


Solvents & waste oils represent one of the five waste streams considered in this assessment next to wastewater sludge, filter cake from wastewater treatment, paint and ink residues, and fluff.

Solvents mainly come from the chemical industry, where they have been used for chemical processes. They become waste once they can no longer be reused as a solvent.

Related words:
industrial wastes