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Start date: Sep 1, 2008, End date: Nov 30, 2010 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The cleaning of pliable (textiles and leathers) and hard surfaces (medical devices, medical implants and fine metal parts) requires solvents to remove dirt and soils before the materials can be (re-)used in their final applications. These solvents can be organic solvents (halogena-ted and non-halogenated hydrocarbons) for a-polar soils or water with chemicals for polar soils. Each type of liquid has environmental and hygienic drawbacks. The cleaning and hygienic efficiency of these is not sufficient as small amounts of residual cleaning agents and/or soil impair the quality of the cleaned surface. The (non) halogenated hydrocarbon and aqueous systems can be replaced by liquid carbon dioxide (LCO2) as a clean, hygienic and environmentally sound solvent. LCO2 has shortcomings and needs improvement of its cleaning performance and quantification of its disinfecting/sterilisation potential. Project ACCEPT investigates the use of LCO2 with respect to cleaning effectiveness and hygiene ability on pliable and hard surfaces (textiles, leathers, medical devices, implants and fine metal parts). The research continues earlier laboratory and pilot research, but will expand this to full scale industrial sized LCO2 cleaning units. In order to remove surface residuals, a CO2-precision cleaning step is required for fine parts. The earlier research will be extended to other hygienically demanding materials to be cleaned. The project further improves LCO2 for cleaning and hygienic quality of these materials. This will lead to replacement of (non) halogenated hydrocarbon solvents such as hazardous perc and toxic trichloroethene. The LCO2 is non-toxic, non-flammable, has disinfecting/sterilising properties, is produced as an off-gas in almost pure form in the oil refining and ammonia production, causes no ground-water contamination, and is very sustainable and environmental friendly"
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