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A Cleaner from Nature
d-Limonene is the major component of the oil extracted from citrus rind.
When citrus fruits are juiced, the oil is pressed out of the rind. This
oil is separated from the juice, and distilled to recover certain
flavor and fragrance compounds. The bulk of the oil is left behind and
collected. This is food grade d-Limonene. After the juicing process, the
peels are conveyed to a steam extractor. This extracts more of the oil
from the peel. When the steam is condensed, a layer of oil floats on the
surface of the condensed water. This is technical grade d-Limonene.
In the past decade, the use of d-Limonene has expanded tremendously.
Much of the product goes into making paint solids, used to impart an
orange fragrance to products, and used as a secondary cooling fluid. But
the largest growth segment has been the use of d-Limonene in cleaning
products. This has occurred in both industrial uses and in
household/institutional products. d-Limonene can be used either as a
straight solvent, or as a water dilutable product.
As a straight solvent, d-Limonene can replace a wide variety of
products, including mineral spirits, methyl ethyl ketone, acetone,
toluene, glycol ethers, and of course fluorinated and chlorinated
organic solvents. As with most organic solvents, d-Limonene is not water
soluble, so it can be used in the typical water separation units. With a
KB value of 67, d-Limonene has solubility properties close to that of
CFC’s, indicating that it is a much better solvent than a typical
mineral spirit. Straight d-Limonene can be used as a wipe cleaner, in a
dip bath, or in spray systems as a direct substitute for most other
By combining d-Limonene with a surfactant package, a water diluting and
rinsible solution can be made. In most cases these products are used in
the institutional and household settings in place of caustic and other
water based cleaners. A concentrated solution of a d-Limonene/surfactant
solution can be made to be diluted before use, or pre-diluted solutions
can be formed. The use concentrations of d-Limonene in these situations
are usually 5-15%. In general these solutions are used as spray and
wipe cleaners. The water dilutable solutions can also be used in
industrial settings where a water rinse of the parts is desired to
remove any residue which may remain.
d-Limonene is a very versatile chemical which can be used in a wide
variety of applications. It is extremely safe and more effective than
typical cleaning solutions.
Due to the strength of this product undiluted, we recommend that it
be used within a few weeks or be transferred to a glass container with a
lid for longer storage.
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