Patent Number: 6,332,342

Title: Methods for carbon dioxide dry cleaning with integrated distribution

Abstract: The present invention provides a dry cleaning process that facilitates distribution of detergent and solvent and (optionally) facilitates recovery of cleaning by-products in conjunction with the cleaning of articles at a dry cleaning facility. The process comprises the steps of: (a) receiving from a source a dry cleaning solvent at the dry cleaning facility, the solvent consisting essentially of carbon dioxide; (b) receiving a concentrated detergent formulation (preferably a liquid formulation) at the cleaning facility; (c) accepting from customers soiled articles to be cleaned at the cleaning facility; (d) mixing the dry cleaning solvent and the concentrated detergent formulation to provide a dry cleaning formulation comprised of from 30 or 40 to 99 percent by weight of carbon dioxide solvent; (e) cleaning the articles in a cleaning apparatus to produce cleaned articles; (f) at least periodically distilling the dry cleaning formulation to produce a still residue comprising surfactant and soil; and then (g) returning the cleaned articles to the customers. Optionally but preferably, the process further comprises the step of: (h) returning the still residue to a waste collector or reprocessor for suitable disposal.

Inventors: McClain; James B. (Raleigh, NC), Romack; Timothy J. (Durham, NC), DeYoung; James P. (Durham, NC), Lienhart; R. Bradley (Cary, NC), DeSimone; Joseph M. (Chapel Hill, NC), Huggins; Kenneth L. (Raleigh, NC)

Assignee:

International Classification: D06L 1/00 (20060101); D06L 1/02 (20060101); D06B 009/06 (); D06F 043/08 ()

Expiration Date: 12/25/2018