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Polyurethane foam: HCFC replacement is on the shoulders

Polyurethane foam: HCFC replacement is on the shoulders


As the industry with the most HCFC (hydrochlorofluorocarbon) applications in my country, the first phase of the HCFC phase-out plan for the polyurethane foam industry has been basically completed, and the acceptance of all project enterprises will be completed within this year. So, what is the industry’s second-stage phase-out plan? What are the promotion policies and technical support? Recently, the 2018 Polyurethane Rigid Foam Industry Development Forum held in Guilin by the Polyurethane Products Special Committee of China Plastics Processing Industry Association discussed the above issues.

The polyurethane foam industry mainly uses HCFC-141b (monofluorodichloroethane) as a blowing agent. According to the consensus reached by the Conference of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in 2007, my country will complete the phase-out of HCFC production and consumption in all manufacturing industries by 2030.

According to Sun Bo, the third project of the Environmental Protection Foreign Cooperation Center of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, at present, the first phase of the HCFC phase-out plan in the polyurethane foam industry has been basically completed. 57 contracts to phase out 12,956 tons of HCFC-141b. Among them, 17 enterprises choose all-water foaming technology, and 40 enterprises choose cyclopentane foaming technology. Up to now, the acceptance of 36 projects has been completed, and the acceptance of all projects will be completed within the year.

It is understood that in December 2016, the approval of the second phase of the HCFC phase-out plan for the polyurethane foam industry has determined the action guideline for the industry-wide phase-out of HCFC. The plan integrates the national performance goals, the status of my country’s polyurethane foam industry, and the maturity of alternative technologies, and adopts an accelerated and phased elimination strategy – a 30% reduction in 2018, a 45% reduction in 2020, and a complete elimination in 2026.

As the world’s largest producer, exporter and user of HCFCs, my country still faces many challenges in its follow-up elimination. “This requires relevant departments and industries to take active actions to participate in all aspects of replacement and transformation projects, technology research and promotion, policy and regulation formulation, and elimination results supervision, etc., to ensure the realization of the contract performance goals as scheduled, and to promote the improvement of the technical level of enterprises in the industry and the green and sustainable development. development.” Sun Bo said.

Sun Bo said that the second phase of the phase-out plan will draw on the implementation policies and management measures of the first phase, and sign HCFC phase-out contracts with qualified polyurethane foam enterprises through public solicitation and expert review, and support them through grants from multilateral funds. Perform necessary equipment and safety modifications to replace HCFC-141b blowing agent with zero ODP (Ozone Depletion Potential), low GWP (Global Warming Potential) technology. At the same time, the project implementation mode was innovated, the upstream and downstream of the industry were connected by issuing tickets, and the renovation of standard foaming equipment and raw material procurement for small and medium-sized enterprises were subsidized.

Sun Bo said that the second phase of the HCFC phase-out action plan for polyurethane foam will introduce a series of policy measures, including carrying out policy assessments according to the implementation progress of the industry plan, and promulgating the announcement of the ban on the use of HCFC as a blowing agent in the polyurethane foam industry in a timely manner; Publish HCFC alternative technology guidelines and alternative recommended catalogues, and update the recommended catalogues in a timely manner based on the future development of alternative technologies; evaluate and sort out industry technical standards, and have different requirements for foam product performance and test methods for different application fields. Revise and formulate relevant standards; strengthen the filing management and daily supervision of the use and sales of HCFCs by local environmental protection departments, and increase inspection and enforcement efforts.

In addition, during the implementation of the phase-out plan, the Foreign Cooperation Center of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment will design and carry out various forms of technical assistance activities, provide technical support for the smooth implementation of HCFC phase-out, and regularly evaluate the development of alternative technologies; Carry out further optimization research, including research on raw material system formulation, production process, equipment, etc., to provide technical guidance for small and medium-sized enterprises and promote their technology conversion.

Cao Jian, vice chairman of China Plastics Processing Industry Association, told reporters that the application of polyurethane rigid foam was affected by the immaturity of HCFC-141b replacement technology. China Plastics Association will actively cooperate with the Foreign Cooperation Center of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment to ensure the smooth realization of the HCFC consumption elimination target; encourage enterprises to carry out elimination activities and adopt climate-friendly alternative technologies; encourage the promotion of suitable alternative technologies, and promote the research and development and promotion of suitable technologies, To ensure that the development of related industries is not affected.

At this meeting, a number of experts introduced the latest progress of HCFC replacement technologies such as cyclopentane foaming and new carbon dioxide-assisted foaming and spraying. Among them, Bi Yusui, a professor of Shandong University of Technology, disclosed the molecular structure and application effect of a new chemical foaming agent jointly developed by Shandong University of Technology and Butian New Materials Company for the first time.

According to Bi Yusui, the new chemical foaming agent has the characteristics of safety and green environmental protection, no VOCs emission, ODP is 0, GWP is 1. At present, the new foaming agent has been successfully applied in the fields of cold storage, construction, pipeline spraying, household appliances, door industry, thermal insulation board and other fields, completely replacing the foam materials containing chlorofluoro physical foaming agent, and key technical indicators such as thermal insulation performance and dimensional stability meet application requirements

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