Obama, Partners Plan to Emission Cuts


What do Dow Chemical, Fomo Products, Lapolla Industries and NCFI Polyurethanes have in common?

Answer: The companies are among more than a dozen that have recently partnered with the Obama Administration to reduce the production of greenhouse gases.

The White House announced its pledge in an Oct. 15 statement. In it, the administration said the new private-sector commitments are geared toward the reduction of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

The administration also said it is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to create a list of climate-friendly alternatives to HFCs. According to a recent article in The National Law Review, the EPA finalized a rule in July that prohibits certain HFCs and HFC blends from aerosols, refrigeration and air conditioning, as well as foam-blowing sectors.

EPA's new rule also bans HFCs that are being phased out under the Montreal Protocol. It is part of the agency's Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP), which it uses to continuously review alternatives to products that are known to damage the ozone and replace them with healthier substitutes.

President’s Goal

“President Obama believes that no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change, and his Administration is committed to taking responsible steps to ensure that we leave our children a planet that is not polluted or damaged,” the White House said in the statement.

HFCs are factory-made chemicals that are found in air conditioners, refrigerators and foam insulation, among other products. They can be 10,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide in contributing to climate change, the White House said.

The administration also said that the partnership announcement was being made bilaterally with China, India, Brazil and other countries in advance of the Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, scheduled for Nov. 5-9, in Dubai.

The U.S. has been working to negotiate an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down global productions of HFCs.

Private Company Commitments

The White House said the companies involved have committed to make these reductions:

  • Dow Chemical said it will eliminate high-GWP (global warming potential) HFCs in its spray foam adhesive product line, specifically a line marketed to the commercial roofing industry. The company will also transition its tile roof spray foam adhesive product line to low-GWP blowing agents over the next two to three years. The combined actions will reduce the equivalent of 200,000 metric tons of CO2 per year, the White House said.
  • Fomo Products said 95 percent of its one component aerosol can products will be converted from HFCs to hydrofluroolefins (HFOs) and hydrocarbons by next year. The company also said that 25 percent of its low-pressure spray polyurethane foam formulations will be converted from HFCs to HFOs by that time.
  • NCFI Polyurethanes made commitments to cut HFCs in several areas through reformulating some of its current lines. These include its roofing foams; open- and closed-cell polyurethane foam wall spray; an entire construction line; and its custom-formulated products, including taxidermy, automotive, marine and medical foams.
  • Lapolla said it would transition its entire product line of foam and coating systems to low-GWPs. The company already has commercialized an HFO-blown spray foam technology for both insulation and roofing systems and it is in the process of converting all its customers to this technology. While the cost is approximately 10 percent higher, the yield and R-value is almost 20 percent greater, making a 10 percent overall reduction in cost-savings, the White House said.

Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Building Envelope; Carbon dioxide; Carbon footprint; Dow Chemical Company; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); EPA; EPA; Greenhouse gas; Latin America; North America; Polyurethane; Spray polyurethane foam

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