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Environmental Advantages of

Powder Coated Products


More than any other factor, the Clean Air Act of 1970 propelled powder coating processes to the forefront as a method to reduce air pollution by eliminating VOCs. At the time, many major coating companies thought the Clean Air Act signaled an end of solvent-based processes. Prior to that time, the fluidized bed coating process was well established and the electrostatic powder spray process had started to gain acceptance, but powder coating, in general, had not received widespread attention or commercial acceptance.


Now powder coating, especially the electrostatic powder spray processes, is universally accepted and specified as the Best Available Control Technology (BACT) to reduce air pollution. While powder coatings have many advantages over other industrial finishing methods from both a process and performance standpoint, it is the ecological advantages of powder coatings that continue to drive their growth and acceptance.


Powder Coatings Contain No Solvents

  • Negligible if any VOC emissions to the atmosphere.

  • Compliance with more environmental regulations.

  • Permits may not be required or are typically easier to obtain for new booth installations.

  • Administrative costs of inspections, permits, sampling, testing, and record-keeping are significantly reduced.

  • Coating booth exhaust air is returned to the coating room.

  • Less oven air is exhausted to the outside.

  • The process is inherently safer and cleaner than systems utilizing solvent-based paints.

  • No special transportation, storage, or handling techniques are required, compared with solvent-based paints.


Reduces Waste & Present Few Hazards

  • In most systems, powder coatings are collected and recycled.

  • First-pass transfer efficiency is high compared with liquid paint.

  • Practically all powder coatings today are free of heavy metals.

  • Practically all powder coatings are not hazardous waste by definition of the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations.

  • Disposal methods for waste powder are the same as for non-hazardous industrial wastes, in most states.

Information provided by the Powder Coating Institute and the Powder Coating Finisher's Handbook. Additional information regarding powder coating can be found on their website at

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