"BIG changes in fire fighting foam are coming..will you be ready?"


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"BIG changes in fire fighting foam are coming..will you be ready?"

  2. 2. BACKGROUND Traditional Fire Fighting Foam Concentrates are manufactured using fluorinated surfactants with an Rf carbon chain length between C6 and C12. It is now accepted that fluorinated surfactants with an Rf chain length greater than C6 could potentially break down in water into PFOA (see glossary). PFOA is bioaccumulative, persistent and toxic. Fluorinated surfactants with an Rf chain length of C6 or less cannot break down in the environment to PFOA. The purpose of the C6 project is to reformulate traditional foam concentrates using surfactants containing an Rf chain of C6 or less, while continuing to meet International Fire Fighting Foam performance standards such as UL 162. This protects the environment by removing the threat of fluorosurfactants breaking down into PFOA. FLUOROSURFACTANT RESEARCH In October 2003, a fluorosurfactant working group was formed by the EPA in the USA and it concluded that: • The majority of fire fighting foams currently available are manufactured using fluorosurfactants which have Rf chain lengths between C6 and C12. • Fluorosurfactants with an Rf chain length greater than C6 could potentially degrade and form PFOA and would therefore be classed as being toxic to the environment. • There is no pathway for fluorosurfactants with an Rf chain length of C6 or less to degrade into PFOA. Changes are happening in the Fire Fighting Foam industry - perhaps one of the biggest changes since the introduction of AFFFs in 1968. But what are these changes and what do they mean to you? THE C6 PROJECT GLOBAL STEWARDSHIP PROGRAMME ABERDEEN FOAM
  3. 3. THE MOVE TO C6-BASED FOAM In 2005, the EPA convened what has come to be known as the 2010/15 PFOA Stewardship Programme. Under this programme, all fluorosurfactant manufacturers based in or selling to the USA have committed to withdraw any fluorosurfactant with an Rf carbon chain length greater than C6 from the market by 2015. Currently Europe has no legislation banning the use of fluorosurfactants with an Rf chain length greater than C6. However, all fluorosurfactant manufacturers world- wide (with the exception of some Chinese producers) have also agreed to commit to the aims of the 2010/15 PFOA Stewardship Programme. As a result, after 2015 fluorosurfactants with an Rf chain length greater than C6 will no longer be available to producers of fire fighting foam concentrates. To comply with 2010/15 PFOA Stewardship Programme, all Fire Fighting Foam manufacturers - including Oil Technics Ltd - will need to: • reformulate their foam concentrates using C6 fluorosurfactants • retest the new foam concentrates to meet International standards required by the Offshore Oil & Gas industry, such as UL 162, ICAO Level B and EN 1568:2008 Part 3 OUR PROGRESS Oil Technics has developed new C6 formulations in 5 of the 6 foam concentrate types commonly used by the offshore Oil & Gas Industry, all of which have been tested to UL 162. We also expect to complete the final UL test before the end of July 2013. This means we will soon be able to offer a full range of new C6 foams - two years ahead of the date set by the EPA 2010/15 PFOA Stewardship programme - giving our customers the immediate environmental advantage over existing foams and the knowledge of being ahead of the pack. GLOSSARY AFFF Aqueous Film Forming Foams A foam concentrate that contains fluoro- surfactants. Fluorosurfactants provide AFFFs with the low surface tension and positive spreading coefficient that enables film forming on top of lighter fuels. PFOA Perfluorooctanoic acid Rf Fully fluorinated
  4. 4. CONCLUSION Oil Technics has now developed, tested, and passed the following C6-based AFFFs to UL 162 International foam standard : Foam Concentrate Approvals 1% AFFF-LF-C6 • UL162 3% AFFF-LF-C6* • UL162 1% AFFF-C6 • UL162 3% AFFF-C6 • UL162 3 x 3% AFFF-AR-C6 • UL162 We are also currently developing C6 formulations for the remaining freeze protected, alcohol resistant AFFFs in our range. THANK YOU We would like to thank Commander Pete Dennet and his staff at the Petrofac Fire Training School in Montrose, Scotland, for generously making available to us the use of their fire testing facilities throughout the development of our C6 products. USEFUL REFERENCES EPA 2010/15 PFOA Stewardship Programme www.epa.gov/oppt/pfoa UL Listings www.ul.com Fire Fighting Foam Coalition www.fffc.org Industrial Fire Hazard Management www.joiff.com *Testing in progress, June 2013. Rev.110613 Supplied & manufactured by Oil Technics (Fire Fighting Products) Ltd Linton Business Park, Gourdon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland UK DD10 0NH T: +44 (0) 1561 361515 F: +44 (0) 1561 361001 E: info@foamtesting.com E: info@firefightingfoam.com W: www.foamtesting.com W: www.firefightingfoam.com