Surface treatment using organic solvents BREF

The Best Available Technique (BAT) reference document (BREF) for the surface treatment using organic solvents (STS BREF) has been reviewed recently. The first STS BREF dated back from August 2007.

In December 2020, the BAT conclusions for the Surface Treatment using Organic Solvents including Preservation of Wood and Wood Products with Chemicals were published in the Official Journal of the European Union as Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2020/2009. Member States have four years to enforce it.

The STS BREF addresses installations for the surface treatment of substances, objects or products using organic solvents, in particular for dressing, printing, coating, degreasing, waterproofing, sizing, painting, cleaning or impregnating.

The activities addressed are:

  • printing (by heatset web offset, flexography and packaging gravure, publication gravure)
  • painting and other coating activities (winding wires, cars, trucks, buses, trains, agricultural and construction equipment, ships and yachts, aircraft, wood and mirrors, furniture, metal coil, metal packaging, and other metal and plastic goods)
  • waterproofing (by painting and wood preservation)
  • adhesive application (in the manufacture of abrasives and adhesive tapes)
  • cleaning and degreasing in conjunction with other surface treatment activities
  • impregnation for the preservation of wood.

As the STS BREF work is concluded, ESIG and ESVOC are planning to look beyond the EU and engage with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the UNECE Task Force on Technical Economic issues (TFTEI). Both organisations are involved in more global BAT projects with regards to solvents VOC emissions.

A BREF is the vehicle through which best available techniques (BAT) and emerging techniques are determined in a transparent manner, based on sound techno-economic information

The key element of a BREF (BAT conclusions) are adopted through committee procedure and are the reference for setting permit conditions to installations covered by the Industrial Emission Directive.

The BREFs inform the relevant decision-makers about what may be technically and economically available to industry in order to improve their environmental performance and consequently preserve the environment.

All the BREFs are available HERE.