An Austin, Texas, house is the first to use a new polyurethane foam insulation that combines energy efficiency with low global warming potential.
Energy-efficient home insulation can now come with a dramatically lower CO2 footprint. New Opteon™ 1100 (previously known as Formacel™ 1100), from Chemours, is the blowing agent used in a new generation of polyurethane spray foam insulation. The first house insulated with the product is being built in Austin, Texas, by eleV8 Design + Builders.
CO2 Reduction Potential
See the estimated reduction in atmospheric CO2 that Opteon™ 1100 could make.
When insulation contains a high-loading foam blowing agent (9-12wt%), greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can be reduced by ≈ 6,000 CO2 equivalents in a standard 2,400 square-foot home with spray foamed walls, by replacing conventional high GWP foam blowing agents (FEAs) (HFC-245fa) with Opteon™ 1100. Not only are there savings related to the direct emissions of the FEA related to GWP but savings due to the increased energy efficiency of the home, which can lower the owner's utility costs. Additionally, GHG is reduced when spray foam insulation is used in the attic.*
Higher Value Chemistry
Chemours developed the first fluoroproducts over 85 years ago and have a history of introducing hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) and hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) alternatives to the market.
Opteon™ 1100 is one of a new class of fluoroproducts built on hydrofluoroolefin, or HFO, chemistry. It contains a double bond between carbon atoms, as opposed to the single-bond chemistry of conventional HFCs.
One Extra Bond Reduces GWP By Over 99%
The most common blowing agent in use is HFC-245fa, which has a global warming potential of 1,040 versus about 1.6 for Opteon™ 1100, made using HFO chemistry.
HFO chemistry is changing the global warming potential of more than home insulation. The same basic chemistry is now powering low global warming air conditioning, refrigeration, and insulation for appliances and vehicles, through the Opteon™ family of low global warming products.
It is widely believed that global action is needed to reduce climate change-related emissions (like high GWP emissions from HFCs) as the only practical way to immediately slow global warming and is necessary to keep global warming below 2°C. 2°C is the critical threshold to manage the damaging effects of climate change.
Collaborating with BASF
BASF collaborated with Chemours to apply Opteon™ 1100 as the blowing agent in its successful Spraytite® foam insulation. Already a leader in insulating effectiveness, Spraytite® with Opteon™ 1100 also offers low global warming potential.
It's a powerful combination for homeowners and businesses concerned with environmental impact. Opteon™ actually improves the insulating performance and storage life of Spraytite®. “Opteon™ 1100 is a sustainable alternative, with low global warming potential and zero ozone-depletion potential,” said Chris Little, President and owner of eleV8 Design + Builders.
Other HFO Benefits
HFO chemistry has an important lifecycle benefit. While HFCs can persist for years in the environment, Opteon™ 1100 breaks down into fluoride, salts, water, and CO2.
In addition, Opteon™ 1100 contains no chlorine-like foam blowing agents, which means it has no ozone depletion potential.
In addition to reducing CO2 emissions, Opteon™ 1100 enables better thermal performance, so builders can achieve a higher insulating effectiveness (R-value) or use a thinner layer of sprayed insulation. It's nonflammable and tightly seals, potentially eliminating the need for a separate vapor barrier. This makes it an ideal solution for wall sheathing, roofing, and appliance foams.
Longer Storage Life
More stable chemistry gives polyurethane spray foam insulation made with Opteon™ a longer shelf life, providing contractors more flexibility and reducing waste.
Stability also allows spray foam made with Opteon™ 1100 to work with the metals, plastics, and elastomers in existing equipment, according to preliminary laboratory testing. So you can switch insulation without changing equipment.
Expanding an Existing Market
Demand for energy efficiency, regulations, and environmental concerns are converging to drive demand for better insulation. The Chemours Company recently broke ground on the world’s first full-scale production facility for HFO-1336mzz. Located in Changshu, China, the plant is expected to begin production mid 2017.
"We're expanding capacity as more and more customers transition their systems to our low GWP solutions. New and improved HFO technologies like Opteon™ 1100 are at the core of our customers' needs across various industries, and we are proud to be able to bring these breakthrough products to the market," says Paul Kirsch, President of Chemours Fluoroproducts.
*Estimates are based on wall insulation containing high-loading (9-12 wt%) of Opteon™ 1100 based on spray foam compared with walls with spray foam formulated with a conventional HFC blowing agent (HFC-245fa) for a 2,400 square-foot home. Does not include any Opteon™ 1100-based insulation that may have been used in the attic. Numbers shown represent CO2equivalents.
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