Developing ozone-kind products

Creating technologies to replace ozone-damaging substances
Recent industry and military developments in reducing ozone-destroying substances (ODS) from products and activities include among others: (1) replacing halons with fluoroiodocarbons in fire-fighting agents and the development of other "environmentally friendly" flame retardants; (2) CFC-free foams using electroset technology at comparable costs to CFC based products; (3) an ODS solvent to be used for cleaning and testing shipboard oxygen gas piping systems; (4) a cleaning system based on supercritical technology that can remove organic and inorganic contaminants from a wide range of surfaces using pressurized carbon dioxide (CO2), a new pentane-based propellant; (5) a fire-resistant foam for space-filling using a blend of HFC-152a and dimethyl ether; (6) an inter-company campaign to recycle empty foam and aerosol cans, with a plant set up with a recycling capacity of 3,800 aerosol cans per hour.

In the refrigeration industry: a near-azeotrope mixture of HFC-32 and HFC-125 is replacing HCFC-22 as refrigerants; use of vacuum insulation panels and non-CFC-urethane foam in domestic refrigerators; replacing HFC-134a with isobutane in domestic refrigerators whilst using pentane for insulation; using R-404a, or a three component HFC blend as a refrigerant, along with new convertible condensing units that has medium to low temperature applications for coolers and freezers. The first retrofit of a chiller from R-502 to R-407A has been achieved. Ammonia is being used in a growing number of chiller applications in the food industry covering a wide range of temperatures.

In 1992, a Greenfreeze fridge was developed, using a mixture of propane and butane as coolant, and expanded polystyrene as insulation instead of CFC-blown foam. Greenpeace commissioned 10 prototypes and then publicized the fridge to its members. In a matter of weeks, 70,000 orders had been received. Providing refrigerants for one million fridges a year using this technology will cost an estimated 100 times less than using CFCs. The technology has been taken up by major manufacturers.

In the air conditioning industry: a new air-conditioning system based on the conventional air-cycle and window air conditioners using HCF-134a have been developed, at competitive prices to conventional CFC systems.

Some telecommunications companies have substituted CFCs used in cleaning computer circuit boards. Computer disk-drives are now rinsed in soapy water and dried with hot air. Some electronics firms have modified their soldering process to eliminate cleaning, and CFCs. The USA Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has accepted the following new alternatives: octamethylcyclotetrasiloxanes and decamethylcylopentasiloxanes for foams and solvents; trans-1,2-dichloroethylene for aerosols; HCFC-124 for fire fighting. HFC-356mcf has been identified as an alternative to CFC-113 and HCFC-141b. One company is working on its applications as solvent for medical device and precision cleaning.

Counter Claim:
Since realistic and cheap alternatives to ODSs have yet to be found, many users of refrigeration and fire-fighting equipment have found repair and maintenance increasingly expensive.
Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 2: Zero HungerGOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal