Benefits of a Thinner Recycling Machine

Written by Andy Potts - Ultrimax - 12/04/23

solvent recycling process


How Buying a Thinner Recycling Machine Reduces Paint Shop Costs and VOC Consumption

The purchase, storage and disposal of solvent thinners has become one of the biggest headaches for paint shop managers in the last decade. With tightening environmental regulations, what used to be a staple in the stockroom cabinet is now a glaring cause for concern. But there is a solution — the thinner recycling machine. Cleaning and reusing your solvents as thinners will help you meet legal requirements, operate sustainably, reduce hazardous waste and make significant cost savings. For larger paint shops, it’s an investment that you can’t afford to ignore.

We know that investing in capital equipment is a financial commitment worthy of great consideration. In this post we’ll break down everything you need to know about solvent recycling machines and purchase options.


  1. The problem with bulk-buying solvents
  2. The benefits of recycling solvents for use as cleaning thinners
  3. The UNIC solvent recycler
  4. The solvent recycling process
  5. How to reduce the cost of capital equipment purchases
  6. The benefits of hire-purchase of capital equipment


1. The problem with bulk-buying solvents

Bulk-buying of solvents can seem like the most efficient way to deal with the demands of the high-yield paint shop environment. After all, the regular cleaning of spray guns, equipment and spray lines is essential in maintaining productivity.

But treating solvents as a disposable consumable racks up your VOC consumption, pushing it closer to or over the 5-tonne per year permit limit. If you do require a local authority permit it will cost upwards of £2,500, and your business will be subject to tighter HSE controls and more regular inspections.


2. The benefits of recycling solvents for use as cleaning thinners

At Ultrimax, we advise larger paint shops to invest in a UNIC solvent recycling machine as they can recycle up to 98% of the solvents consumed in daily operations. The benefits of this shift from buying thinners to producing them in-house are far-reaching:

  • Reduces monthly clean solvent purchase
  • Lowers VOC consumption and VOC annual targets
  • Fewer solvents are stored onsite, so fewer HSE inspections are necessary
  • Lowers solvent waste disposal costs — the recycler converts waste to non-hazardous status and dry solids, so there are no specialist removal costs
  • Reduces VOCs by approx. 22kg per 25 litres of average gunwash recycled


solvent recycling street crane


Street Crane Limited

Through its extensive environmental management system and ongoing improvement programmes, Street Crane is actively addressing the challenges posed by climate change and managing its environmental impact. In 2021, the company’s environmental strategy addressed solvent emissions and solvent waste across its operations with the help of Ultrimax and the UNIC solvent recycling machine.


With the ongoing support from Ultrimax Ltd, Street Crane installed a solvent recycling machine in January 2021 and achieved 100% solvent waste reduction. All waste solvent produced is now recycled and put back into the process. iN 2021 alone, Street Crane recycled over 1,000 litres of waste solvent.

Nick Thornburn

Head of QHSE, Street Crane Ltd


3. The UNIC solvent recycler range at a glance

solvent recycling machine  unic 60


In addition to achieving the many benefits described earlier in this post, UNIC 25 litre and 60 litre solvent recycling machines offer:


  • Fast distillation cycle — distillation process takes 5-7 hours, so you always have fresh solvent to use as a gun wash in just 5-7 hours.


  • Economic to run — low maintenance and with an average cost of £3 (electricity, solvent bag, service) per 25 litres or (0.12p a ltr).


  • Safe and durable construction — stainless steel construction; flame and explosion-proof.


  • Regulatory compliance — Fully certified to EEXd and ATEX standards.


Ultrimax customers who have purchased a UNIC solvent recycling machine have reported that they have recouped the purchase cost in just five months!


Buy UNIC solvent recyclers online >>


The solvent recycling process

The UNIC solvent recycling unit operates automatically using a distillation process.

  • Fill the liner with waste solvent

  • The machine warms the solvent to a boil, separating it from the waste

  • The collected clean solvent is then ready to use


solvent recycling

How to reduce the cost of capital equipment purchases

Business investment has dropped to an all-time low as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and a spiralling global economic crisis. The UK government introduced the Super Deduction Scheme to combat this, boost industry productivity and aid economic recovery. Until March 2023, the scheme offers 130% first-year relief on qualifying main plant and machinery. This can mean a hefty saving on your corporation tax bill. For instance, under the scheme, investing £10,000 in qualifying new machinery or equipment means deducting £13,000 (130% of the upfront machinery cost) from taxable profits. That’s a saving of £2470 (at 19%) on the corporation tax bill.

The benefits of hire-purchase of capital equipment

Upfront outlay for capital equipment can hit your budget hard even with tax relief, so you might want to consider a hire-purchase agreement. The monthly cost can be claimed as an expense and counts as a CAPEX cost for your balance sheet. At Ultrimax, we offer finance options on CAPEX equipment such as to limited companies, partnerships and sole traders through Kennet Leasing.


View more CAPEX equipment with finance options

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Further help

If you would like further advice regarding solvent recycling, leasing CAPEX equipment or any other paint shop matters, give our friendly support team a shout.


+44(0)1302 856666



Solvent Recycler Explainer Videos

What Material Do You Affect?

Demonstration Machine at Lyndon Systems

How to Use and Setup a UNIC Solvent Recycler

Need More Help With Solvent Recycling?

Have peace of mind that you are choosing compliant, recyckling equipment that saves you time and money – call our capex machinery experts today.

Call: 01302 856666


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