SITUATION AFTER CFC PHASE OUT CFC Phase out was started in 90’s, change over decision by Indian Foam Industries was relatively simple, as selection had to be made from three alternative blowing agents which were well established in developed country and could easily be adopted by Indian Foam Sector. These were:- 14
Now that the dates are advanced to 2030, there is a big challenge for Indian Foam Sector as no technically proven and economically viable solutions are available to phase out HCFC 141b considering the fact that most HCFC 141b users are SMEs including few large enterprises as well.
It is the Rigids, Integral skin & some flexible slab stock foam applications where HCFC’s are being used. In this sector phase out program requires a careful approach 17
HCFC Phase Out Approach
Complete change over to long term blowing agent for large enterprises.
Partial production can be changed to alternate blowing agent where HCFC 141b can be phased out stepwise over a period of time.
Use reduced HCFC 141b systems where mixture of HCFC 141b with other alternate blowing agents may be used, which can allow cut down of HCFC 141b phase wise and this solution can be adopted for SMEs.
The right approach for phase out of HCFC 141b from Indian foam sector can be as above
While selecting an alternate blowing agent, safety and fire hazards must be given due considerations as some of the blowing agents are highly combustible / explosive and as such can be difficult to handle by small enterprises.
Energy should be most important factor particularly for rigid foams which are mainly used for insulation applications.
19 Safety and Energy Concerns
HCFC Phase Out - Challenges
Actual consumption of HCFC is nearly 4 times higher than the CFC consumption base line. This implies-more investments and phase out interventions.
Another barrier that HCFC using enterprises possesses manufacturing equipments that are far from the end of product life.
Working on adoption, evolution & costing of new technology.
Evolution of all HCFC phase out options in light of safety and environmental consideration.
Need to determine optimum management modality and funding arrangements
SMEs are the backbone of Indian economy.
The Polyurethane foam sector, SMEs consists of 91% of the total Foam Industry.
Presently available alternates are mainly HFCs, such as 245FA, 134 A, 365FA and Hydro Carbons(Pentanes)
Hydrocarbons are highly inflammable and it is not feasible to use them in pre blended Polyols which is widely used by SMEs
The Polyurethane Foam Industry is open for a Dialog with its counterpart Industry world over to understand about the low GWP alternatives, including their Economical & Technical viability and the time frame for its availability.