Degreasers for Industrial Equipment: Finding a Replacement for P-D-680

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For almost fifty years, P-D-680 was the degreaser used by most companies in the industrial sector, but in 1999, most companies canceled the solvent when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulated its use. In spite of the widespread cancellation of P-D-680 that occurred over a decade ago, many companies still search for the solvent online instead of searching for an environmentally preferred or organic solvent. Experts in the solvent industry attribute this to the inexpensiveness of P-D-680, and its reputation as an effective degreaser, but regardless of why the solvent continues to draw interest, one thing is clear: using it is hazardous for the environment and dangerous to human health.

Finding a Replacement

The serious danger of P-D-680 results from the Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) it contains. In the environment, HAPs can contaminate air, water, and soil. In the human environment, prolonged exposure to HAPs can cause chronic respiratory and neurological conditions. Therefore, the goal of companies that need the degreasing power of P-D-680 should be to find a solvent that offers the same effectiveness but contains no HAPs.

In years past, finding an environmentally preferred or organic solvent to replace P-D-680 was nearly impossible. Because most HAPs were not yet banned by the EPA, producing alternative solvents would have been financially risky for solvent makers. Today, EPA regulations have cemented the need for a replacement for P-D-680. For many companies, the ideal replacement is the environmentally preferred degreaser, MIL-PRF-680b. Unlike P-D-680, MIL-PRF-680b contains no HAPs.

The Benefits of MIL-PRF-680b

MIL-PRF-680b offers the same degreasing power as P-D-680, but it does not contain ingredients that produce HAPs. This allows companies to use the solvent without contributing to toxic emissions; it also avoids incurring the expensive risk of receiving a fine for exceeding emission caps. The solvent also offers the important benefits below:

  • Emits no odor
  • Contains no water
  • Leaves no residue
  • Has a high flashpoint
  • Is largely non-corrosive

The absence of odor in MIL-PRF-680b makes indoor work environments tolerable. The absence of water prevents metal parts from oxidizing. The solvent’s lack of residue prevents parts from attracting dirt that damages sensitive components. Its high flashpoint prevents it from igniting in the presence of unexpected heat sources (e.g. arc faults). Its non-corrosive formulation makes it safe to use on various types of metals and high-grade plastics and rubbers.

Like P-D-680, MIL-PRF-680b contains Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), but the Clean Air Act does not classify them as HAPs. Companies that use MIL-PRF-680b should provide adequate ventilation where the solvent is used and supply those who use it with sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The manufacturer states that wearing rubber gloves offers sufficient protection.


For decades, P-D-680 was the preferred industrial degreaser, but in 1999, most industries canceled its use due to EPA regulations. If your company needs the degreasing power of P-D-680 in an environmentally preferred or organic solvent, MIL-PRF-680B is the answer. Unlike P-D-680, contains no HAPs, making it safer for both the environment and the health of those who work with the solution.

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