HFC Based Blowing Agentsis expected to be banned By the UN Environmental Agency

The Blowing agents market is witnessing robust growth because of rise in demand for Polyurethane, Polystyrene, Phenolic and Polyolefin Foams being used across various end use segments such as buildings, automobile, electrical and electronics and many more. Blowing agents are also known as foaming agents as they are capable of producing cellular structure via foaming process in a variety of materials such as polymers, plastics and metals. The polymer foam holds the share of over 50% in the total market of blowing agents. The composition of blowing agents are majorly halogenated paraffin organics such as Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and Hydrocarbons (HCs). However, these are classified as global warming potential chemicals as they consist ozone layer destructive properties and is being regulated by the International regulatory bodies such as United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), European Commission and the US EPA under the Montreal Protocol which was originally signed in 1987.

Browse through 161 slides and an in-depth TOC “Blowing Agents Market (2019 - 2025)

In 1987, 197 member countries of United Nations decided on the phasing out (permanent removal and gradual phasing out) of ozone depleting chemicals such as CFCs and HCFCs. The step was taken under Montreal Protocol which was clearly designed to protect the ozone from substances which can damage the ozone layer. As the general public became increasingly aware of climate change and agents, which aid in aggravating the change, many developed and developing countries began to introduce domestic regulations. The European Commission laid down ozone layer protection regulations, manufacturing policies and standards that cover the jurisdiction within the geographical area of the European Union. Similarly the United States actively began to phase out the use of CFCs and its derivatives under the Clean Air Act since the year 1990.

The current standards for addressing the ozone depletion and global warming potential have been implemented since the last decade majorly by the US EPA, the EU and other countries and these are being continuously revised to address current trends and challenges. The Australian government has also been implementing regulations to counter the ozone depletion potential of blowing agents under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act since 1989. Concurrently, the US EPA aims to address stratospheric ozone layer depletion by creating awareness about the issue, strengthen regulations to phase out certain harmful chemicals – in this case which constitute a large portion of blowing agents – and encourage industries to utilize EPA approved alternatives. All in all, the entirety of regulatory bodies worldwide is aiming to control the export, import, disposal, manufacture and the use of ozone depleting chemicals, which are used in the making of foaming agents. Thus, all the countries across the world has set individual goals to mitigate this problemas this affects all life forms on earth, particularly humans.

It is important to note that use of CFCs, HCFCs and other ozone depleting elements share common applications as refrigerants, aerosol sprays, and in the case of this article, blowing agents. As a result of these regulations, many of the key manufacturers are phasing out the use of CFCs and its derivatives and replacing these traditional blowing agents with HFO and HFC based agents. For example, the Japanese government hadimplemented the Net Zero Energy Building (ZEB) concept in 2014 to achieve greater energy efficiency and overall sustainability in the construction sector, which is claimed to be accountable for a third of total energy consumption. Thus, many of the foaming agents having a large global warming potential (GWP) and Ozone depletion potential (ODP) have been banned. This encouraged firms like Honeywell to take advantage of these regulations to introduce environment-friendly blowing agents like Solstice Liquid Blowing Agent. Furthermore, the Chemours Company also rolled out the Opteon 1100 blowing agent in the US which resulted them in winning Polyurethane Innovation Award, 2017.

Since the inception of Montreal Protocol it has been the most effective environment act policy that has been successfully adopted by all the 189 signee countries. All the UN member countries have introduced legally binding regulations to control the production, trade and disposal of high ODP and GWP foaming agents. As the stratospheric atmosphere is commonly shared by everyone on the planet, its destruction followed by its after effects on humankind, is a driving factor for all responsible authorities to act wisely with sustainability as the major focus. As a global effort, the stratospheric CFC-11 concentrations is been reported to have declined by 15 percent from peak levels measured in 1993.

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