German company pitches greener drycleaning to U.S.
Kreussler, a German company, is bringing its eco-friendly drycleaning process to the United States.
A family-owned German chemical producer with a relatively low profile in the United States is moving aggressively into U.S. territory.
Kreussler GmbH, a company that’s dominant in the European dry-cleaning industry, describes its new, green solvent, SystemK4—or SK4 for short—as being “innovative, environmentally friendly, nontoxic, biodegradable, and safe for ground, water, and humans.”
“We feel very strongly that this is historically our opportunity to change the industry and move it away from halogenated common solvents in many dry-cleaning establishments currently,” said Richard Fitzpatrick, vice president for operations at Tampa, Florida-based Kreussler Inc., the U.S. distribution, sales, and technical support arm for its German parent’s dry cleaning, wet cleaning, and commercial cleaning products.
Kreussler, which has led the European dry-cleaning market since 1985, has been awarded the German patent for SK4. An international patent is pending.
This move by Kreussler into the U.S. marketplace represents a major diversification for the company, whose main activity in the textile industry has been producing detergents, additives, and other support products for major dry-cleaning solvents available from other sources.
“It certainly is a solvent of interest to dry cleaners, many of whom are struggling with a decision about which alternative to embrace,” said Nora Nealis, executive director of the National Cleaners Association, based in New York City.
For years, the choices for consumers have been among an array of so-called “environmentally” friendly solvents cleaners can use—including perchloroethylene, or perc, the industry standard used in 80 percent of dry cleaners. An estimated 20,000 perc dry-cleaning machines are in use throughout the United States.
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