Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

December, 2004

Paint Stripper Benzyl Alcohol, N-methyl Pyrrolidone

Q. We have been mandated to remove zinc chromate from approximately 900 sf of aluminum roof panels. We are concerned about environmental issues. Do you know of a stripper that will cut through and not contain methylene chloride?

There are several chemical strippers that do not contain methylene chloride. One of the most common of the safer chemical strippers contains N-Methyl Pyrrolidone (NMP), [N-Methyl-2-Pyrrolidone (NMP)]. This solvent is being used by the Air Force apparently with some success, but you must be aware that the stripping time is longer than for methylene chloride. I have found at least one vendor by going to Google:
Another stripper that is being used by the Air Force is Benzyl Alcohol and here is a site that will give you more information on this topic:


Please be aware that coatings and solvents are chemicals and therefore you should always pay attention to proper handling procedures and be prepared to wear protective clothing, such as respirators, gloves, coveralls, etc., and always be sure that your work area is well ventilated.

For further information on the health and safety requirements for the coatings and solvents you wish to use we strongly advised you to contact your local coating supplier and obtain a copy of the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). If possible, go the extra step and look for this information on the website of the product vendor.

Good luck

Best wishes,

Ron Joseph

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