Homeowners in Chicago are enjoying increased energy efficiency and decreased environmental impact thanks to low global warming potential Opteon™ 1100 foam blowing agent.
Measuring the impact: CO2 reduction potential
While the CO2 reduction of a single home application of Opteon™ 1100 is impressive, the true impact is realized when you multiply that across thousands of homes.
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.*
Delivering higher value chemistry
With that kind of performance improvement, Opteon™ 1100 foam blowing agent is attracting widespread attention—for good reason.
This technology is a game changer, so much so that Opteon™ 1100 was named the 2017 CPI Polyurethane Innovation Award Winner because of its superior thermal performance and remarkable stability.
So how is it possible to achieve both superior performance and a low environmental footprint?
One extra bond reduces GWP by over 99%
Opteon™ 1100 is a member of the next generation of fluoroproducts based on hydrofluoroolefin, or HFO, chemistry. It contains a double bond between carbon atoms, as opposed to the single-bond chemistry of conventional hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
The most common blowing agent in use is HFC-245fa, which has a global warming potential of 1,040. Opteon™ 1100, made using HFO chemistry, has a starkly lower global warming potential of less than 1.6, with zero ozone depletion potential.
HFO chemistry is changing the global warming potential of more than home insulation. The same basic chemistry is now powering low global warming potential air conditioning, refrigeration, and insulation for appliances and vehicles, through the Opteon™ family of low global warming potential products.
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 in foam insulation for the life of the structure. This lets builders achieve a higher insulating effectiveness (R-value) or use a thinner layer of sprayed insulation. It’s nonflammable and it seals tightly, 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 laboratory testing. It is an optimal drop-in substitution, so you can switch insulation without changing equipment.
Collaborating with industry partners
Chemours has partnered with industry collaborators of all sizes to introduce Opteon™ 1100 as the leading blowing agent in successful foam insulation products. Giants like BASF, regional players like Chicago’s Natural Polymers, and many others are using Opteon™ 1100 technology for their spray foam formulations to provide superior insulations with low global warming potential. It’s a powerful combination for homeowners and businesses concerned with environmental impact.
Expanding an existing market
Demand for energy efficiency, regulations, and environmental concerns are converging to drive demand for better insulation.
“We’re expanding capacity as more and more customers transition their systems to our low GWP solutions. 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 CO2 equivalents.