China is developing chlorofluoro-free polyurethane foamer 05-23-2018

The chlorofluoro-free polyurethane foamer, which is developed in China for the first time, passed the identification of sci-tech achievement in Beijing. This will strongly facilitate the substitution of traditional foamers and helps phase-out CFC and HFC.


At the end of April 2018, the innovation project regarding an advanced chlorofluoro-free polyurethane foamer, which is completed by Shandong University of Technology and Butian New Material jointly, passed the identification of sci-tech achievement carried out by the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation in Beijing, according to market intelligence firm CCM. 

The identification outlines 4 keys of this sci-tech achievement. First of all, two types of newly structured chlorofluoro-free polyurethane foamers are designed to be synthesised. They are new chemical substances, which have been tested for their toxicity and have been registered as new substances. They are safe and environmental-friendly.

Secondly, a new way to develop newly structured formeris has been found. Such a foamer, promoted by reaction heat, may produce carbon dioxide by decomposition. It is compatible with polyhydric alcohols in a better way, and the foaming material produced in this way show well-distributed and fine foam structure and excellent performance.

Furthermore, technologies for the applications of newly structured foamer in building thermal insulation board, pipeline thermal insulation and cold insulation of refrigeration house are developed.

And finally, the preparation process for newly structured foamer is developed and the facility for pilot-scale experimentation is constructed. The foaming material produced based on this process shows up-to-national standard performance indicators such as heat conductivity.

So far, SDUT and Butian New Material have applied for 38 invention patents in China, of which 2 have been authorised, and meanwhile, have applied for 2 patents under the Patent Cooperation Treaty. The chlorofluoro free polyurethane foamer has been regarded as a theoretical innovation and technological invention of great importance, after the examination made by the State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China and the searching at home and abroad.

In China, moving to climate-friendly refrigerants, and boosting the energy efficiency of cooling technologies could save as much energy as would be produced by eight Three Gorges hydroelectric dams.

The need for HFC and HCFC substitutes

In 2030, China will thoroughly stop the production and use of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). As a substitute for HCFC physical foamer, the chlorofluoro-free polyurethane foamer is expected to make a great contribution to the phase-out of CFC and hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) in the domestic polyurethane foaming material industry, the protection of ozonosphere and the reduction of carbon emission. In addition, the Identification Committee under CPCIF is of the opinion that this foamer will offer strong technical support during China's fighting against climate changes and fulfilment of the Paris Agreement and the Montreal Protocol on Substances at Deplete the Ozone Layer.

The Kingali Amendment is part of the Montreal Protocol, which guides the international community to fight against climate change. The new amendment will come into effect on January 1, 2019, since with the ratification of Sweden and Trinidad and Tobago, 21 parties, including China, have ratified the Montreal Protocol so far. 20 parties were the minimum to get the amendment into effect.

With the Kigali Amendment, manufacturers of refrigerants are now urged to start researching and producing alternative substitutes that are less harmful to the climate. This has a significant effect on China, which is the largest producer and consumer of HFCs worldwide with a technology still lacking behind international competition.

At present, China is the largest country in consumption as well as production and export of HCFCs and HFCs. Hence, the elimination of these chemicals is a mammoth task for the country, which manufacturers are still lacking behind international competitors when it comes to the research and development of new and safe refrigerants.

The middle kingdom has already eliminated CFCs back in the year 2007, which was even three years ahead of the deadline stated in the Montreal Protocol. It stays to be expected if the country can show the same pace and progress in the elimination of fluorohydrocarbons in the coming years ahead.

About the article

The information for this article comes from CCM, China’s leading market intelligence provider for the fields of chemicals, agriculture, food and feed.

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