VATIS Update Ozone Layer Protection . Jan-Feb 2008

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Ozone Layer Protection Jan-Feb 2008

ISSN: 0971-5657

VATIS Update Ozone Layer Protection is published 6 times a year to keep the readers up to date of most of the relevant and latest technological developments and events in the field of Ozone Layer Protection. The Update is tailored to policy-makers, industries and technology transfer intermediaries.

Ozone Cell, Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change
Govt. of India

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VATIS Update Biotechnology Apr-Jun 2017
VATIS Update Waste Management Oct-Dec 2016
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Ozone Layer
VATIS Update Ozone Layer Protection Sep-Oct 2016
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Antarctic ozone update

As of 21 December 2007, although a small area of ozone-depleted air (with ozone values below 250 DU and depletions approaching 30 per cent) remained over East Antarctica, the ozone hole of 2007 had cleared up. The temperature of the ozone layer was too warm for PSCs to exist. Over Antarctica ozone values were higher than 250 DU, with values up to 350 DU over the Southern Ocean. A spring warming took place over the Pacific coast of Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula in late October; however, this subsided as the ozone hole became more symmetric again. A second major warming took place towards the end of November, but subsided in early December. The summer circulation is now established.

In general, the vortex was more disturbed in 2007 than it was in 2006; however, there have also been periods of stability. Early August saw the largest ozone hole recorded for that time of the year, although at the same time very high ozone levels existed over the northern Antarctic Peninsula. The vortex was more circular in mid-September, the ozone hole area reached a maximum of just over 24 million square kilometres but returned to an elliptical shape and initially warmed slowly.


First ozone observatory in Tibet starts operation

The first ozone measurement observatory in Tibet Autonomous Region, has become operational on the world’s highest plateau. At an elevation of 3,648.9 m in Lhasa, which is located in the low-level ozone layer region on western China’s Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the US$208,000 observatory is equipped with the cutting-edge Brewer Ozone Spectrophotometer that alone costs US$192,000.

According to Mr. Zhang Yong, a senior engineer with Lhasa Meteorological Bureau, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is a hot spot area for international climate change observation. Comparisons of ozone data in Tibet with those in the baseline observatory in Qinghai Province will accurately reflect changes in the ozone layer over the plateau. The Lhasa observatory will provide precise information on the total ozone amount and ultraviolet-B radiation. The sophisticated instruments will regularly send data to Chinese meteorological departments for analysis, which will be forwarded to the World Ozone and Ultraviolet Radiation Data Centre based in Canada.


Getting to the heart of Antarctic ozone

A team comprising researchers from the United Kingdom and the United States has modelled the effects of ozone depletion at different levels in the stratosphere and found that ozone loss in the lower stratosphere (near the tropopause region) has no significant effect on tropospheric temperatures. Hitherto, scientists believed that the troposphere might be more sensitive to depletion of ozone lower down in the stratosphere, which peaks in December-January, because ozone depletion in the stratosphere above the Antarctic generally peaks in October/November whereas tropospheric cooling tends to lag behind, reaching a maximum in December-January. The research team included scientists from the United Kingdom’s University of East Anglia and the University of Leeds, and the United States’ Colorado State University and NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory.

Ms. Sarah Keeley of the University of East Anglia states that lower stratospheric ozone changes are not the driver for tropospheric response in Antarctica and this is contrary to the suggestion made in the World Meteorological Organization Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2006. The team used the Hadley Centre Atmospheric model HadSM3-L64 to conduct their investigations. They performed a control experiment with ozone concentrations comparable to those in the 1970s and three perturbation experiments at the level separating the lower and middle stratosphere. According to Ms. Keeley, the team’s findings have implications for understanding the mechanisms of stratosphere-troposphere coupling and the drivers of atmospheric circulation change in the southern hemisphere.


Source: www.environmental


Status of ODS phase-out

India is in the process of phasing out ODS in both the production and end use consumption sectors. Altogether, 296 projects have been approved and funded by the Multilateral Fund (MLF). A total amount of US$229,655,884 has been approved by the Executive Committee of the MLF Secretariat to phase out 46,381 ODP tonnes. Sector-wise break-up of the funds approved by the MLF for ODS phase-out projects in India are as follows:

• Aerosol: US$3,227,739 for 27 projects to phase out 689 ODP tonnes;
• Foam: US$34,785,641 for 159 projects to phase out 4,373 ODP tonnes;
• Halon: US$2,458,701 for 18 projects to phase out 2,162 ODP tonnes;
• RAC: US$32,254,823 for 49 projects to phase out 3,203 ODP tonnes;
• Solvent: US$66,178,980 for 41 projects to phase out 12,966 ODP tonnes; and
• Production sector: US$90,750,000 for two projects to phase out 22,988 ODP tonnes.

Foam sector phase-out project: In 1991, the foam sector used 1,580 t of CFCs (predominantly CFC-11), which amounted to about 31 per cent of India’s total CFC consumption at that time. It was estimated that the demand for foam products would grow at 15-20 per cent annually until 2010. The foam sector was therefore identified as a priority sector for initiating phase-out activities. A survey of the foam sector carried out at the time of the original country programme, identified about 235 manufacturers of foamed plastics utilizing CFCs as blowing agents. About 20 per cent of the enterprises were large/medium-sized, while the rest were small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the unorganized and informal sectors. At its 37th meeting in 2002, the Executive Committee of the Montreal Protocol approved the foam sector phase-out plan at a total funding of US$5,424,577 to phase out 612 ODP tonnes of CFC-11 by 31 December 2006. UNDP was responsible for the implementation of this project. A total of 122 foam manufacturing enterprises under this sector plan has phased out CFCs from their processes. The substitute technologies identified for phasing out ODS at the time of preparation of the country programme include:

• Flexible moulded polyurethane (PU) foam: Water-based technologies for both interim and permanent solutions;
• Integral skin PU foam: HCFCs as the interim solution, water and HFCs as permanent solution;
• Rigid PU foam: HCFCs as interim solution, hydrocarbons and water as permanent solution;
• Phenolic foams: Hydrocarbons as both interim and permanent solutions; and
• Thermoplastic foams: Hydrocarbons as both interim and permanent solutions.

It was considered strategically important to support the conversion of manufacturing facilities of the polyol system producers on a priority basis, to enable them to customize non-CFC formulations and thus facilitate more economical ODS phase-out for the downstream foam manufacturers. Also, ODS phase-out in the large number of SMEs operating in this sector, many of which were not identified at the time of the country programme preparation, was considered to be a challenge.

Commercial refrigeration sector: At its 38th meeting held in November 2002, the Executive Committee of the Montreal Protocol approved the commercial refrigeration sector (manufacturing) phase-out plan at a total funding of US$3,609,186 to phase out 535 ODP tonnes of CFC-11 by 31 December 2006. UNDP was responsible for the implementation of the commercial refrigeration component, while UNIDO was responsible for implementation of the transport refrigeration sub-sector under this sector plan.

A total of 157 firms in the commercial refrigeration sub-sector and 39 enterprises in the transport refrigeration sub-sector have phased out CFC-11 and CFC-12, respectively. As a component of non-investment activity, technical workshops were organized on 26 May 2006 in Chandigarh and on 3 June 2006 in Chennai in order to create awareness and disseminating information about the existing and future alternative technologies in the commercial refrigeration sector.


Source: The Montreal Protocol: India’s Success Story 2007


Montreal protocol’s success lessons on climate change

Argentina, Mauritius, Micronesia and the United States announced at the United Nations climate conference in Indonesia that they would continue to work together to maximize the climate benefits of the world’s ozone treaty – the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The United States’ Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment Mr. Daniel Reifsnyder said that the United States was interested in finding ways to reduce emissions of “banks” of ozone-depleting chemicals currently contained in refrigerators and air-conditioners that otherwise will be emitted into the atmosphere at the end of life of these equipment. Stating his country’s consent, Argentina’s Minister of Environment Mr. Romina Picolotti said, “Argentina agrees that we should continue the successful cooperation with the Parties to the Protocol. The cooperation under the ozone treaty is an example of developed and developing countries working together to implement solutions to a worldwide environmental problem. In terms of the banks of old CFCs and HCFCs, they are damaging to the climate as well as the ozone layer. We have it in our means to solve this problem, and we should move quickly to do so.”

Recovering and destroying the banks of CFCs and HCFCs currently contained in refrigerators and air-conditioners could avoid at least a portion of the expected 7.4 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in emissions between 2002 and 2015, with the possibility of even greater emissions beyond 2015, as per estimates by the Protocol’s Technology and Economic Assessment Panel. By comparison, the Kyoto Protocol mandates a reduction of 5 billion tonnes below 1990 emissions from 2008 to 2012, assuming full compliance from industrialized countries (Kyoto’s reductions will be 10 billion tonnes, once the 5 billion tonnes of growth above 1990 levels is added in). Eliminating CFC and HCFC banks will also prevent destruction of the ozone layer, which shields the earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation that cause skin cancer and cataracts, a weakened immune system, and damaged ecosystems and agricultural productivity. Contact: Mr. Durwood Zaelke. E-mail: zaelke@


World’s first CO2 refrigeration interactive course

In the United Kingdom, ‘’ has introduced a new and pioneering e-learning course on the use of carbon dioxide (CO2) in refrigeration systems. CIBSE and the Construction CPD Service have accredited this highly instructive course, which provides a broad introduction to the fundamental knowledge required to work on CO2 systems and also helps prepare the student for further studies on advanced CO2 refrigeration systems. The course covers design, installation and maintenance considerations, including benefits in using CO2 and functionality of the different refrigeration systems – volatile secondary, volatile secondary with DX, volatile secondary/cascade, trans-critical and direct expansion.

Experienced engineers from Star Refrigeration have developed this course. Star Refrigeration has been working on the development of CO2 technologies and solutions that reduce users’ environmental impact and running costs for more than 15 years. The information about the use of CO2 in refrigeration systems was collected from many sources around the world and put together into a superior two-module course, including CO2 fundamentals and CO2 refrigeration system basics. Danfoss has also contributed to the development of the CO2 course by providing valuable learning material. Students achieving 80 per cent or more in the final test will receive a diploma certified by CIBSE and the Construction CPD International Service. Contact: Elearning-training, Thornliebank IE, Glasgow G46 8JW, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (141) 6387 916; Website: www.elearning-training. com.



Consumption and production of ODSs in developing countries

Compliance with the approaching 2010 targets for phasing out the consumption and production of CFCs and halons is the major challenge facing countries operating under Article 5 of the Montreal Protocol. At the same time, developing countries must also prepare themselves to comply with the accelerated HCFC phase-out schedule, decided recently by the Parties on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, starting with a freeze in production and consumption by 2013. the deadline for the complete phase out of methyl bromide is 2015. Decision makers in developing countries need information that easily conveys where their countries stand in relation to these targets. The trends analysis service from the United Nations Environment Programme-Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (UNEP-DTIE) is designed to provide such a visual tool.

By means of consumption and production data officially reported by their governments, countries must demonstrate that they fully meet the specific legal obligations (control measures) of the protocol as per the agreed timetables. Countries must permanently reduce their dependency on ODS in a step-wise manner and ultimately end it altogether. During the compliance phase, the phase-out process is country-driven in terms of both needs and responsibilities. This means that government commitment and ownership is crucial for success. Nevertheless, as implementation of the Montreal Protocol is not performed in isolation, partnership and cooperation continues to be essential in this period. The Multilateral Fund and its implementing agencies, bilateral agencies, NGOs and other nations continue to help countries identify and overcome compliance challenges. Contact: Mr. R. Shende, Head, Ozonaction Branch, UNEP-DTIE, 15, rue de Milan, 75441 Paris Cedex 09, France. Tel: +33 (1) 4437 1459; Fax: +33 (1) 4437 1474; E-mail:



Indian ports become transit points for illegal ODS

Even as India moves closer to completely phasing out the use of ODS in the next two years to comply with the Montreal Protocol, intelligence agencies are concerned about fresh reports of ODSs being smuggled into the nation through ports in Gujarat. A recent intelligence input with the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence states that some importers are using fraudulent declarations for illegal trade of CFCs and other ODSs through inland container depots (ICD) and ports across the state.

As India started phasing out the production of ODSs, illegal traders are exploiting this excellent business opportunity and have started smuggling ODSs into the country. There have been reports of several illegal ODS imports being seized in the recent past, apart from several illegal consignments confiscated in several cities across the country. The easy availability of ODSs in some nations, which produce them legally or illegally, facilitates this illegal trade.


Insulating China’s National Olympic Stadium

Honeywell has announced that closed-cell polyurethane foam insulation using its Enovate® blowing agent is helping to insulate China’s National Olympic Stadium, the first such use for a major public building in the region. The insulating technology will help meet strict energy efficiency and environmental guidelines required by government construction authorities and international Olympics construction guidelines regarding environmental protection. The energy-efficient material is used to insulate walls for seating areas in the National Stadium, commonly called the Bird’s Nest. The stadium will be the venue for the opening ceremony of the 29th Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, which begin in August 2008. The nearly 2.8 million square feet facility will hold more than 90,000 spectators.

Closed-cell spray foam insulation using Enovate has been proven to provide exceptional energy benefits and environmental performance than other insulation materials. Honeywell’s Enovate blowing agent – a non-inflammable, zero ozone-depleting hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) liquid – allows insulating foam to expand and helps provide many of the foam’s key performance characteristics. Yantai Polyurethane Co. Ltd. supplied the polyurethane insulation materials, while Harbin Tianshuo Building Materials Industry Co. Ltd. is responsible for overall spraying construction. Earlier to this, closed-cell polyurethane using Enovate served as a roofing material to repair the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, the United States, following Hurricane Katrina in 2006.


Fluorocarbons destruction facility in Indonesia

The phase-out of the production and consumption of CFCs has been implemented successfully in accordance with the Montreal Protocol. Nevertheless, challenges still remain, including the disposal of unwanted CFCs and other types of ODS in developing nations. The Ministry of Environment (MoE), Japan, has been working to promote the control of emissions of fluorocarbons (HCFCs, HFCs and CFCs) at the international level and, as part of international cooperation, has also provided technical assistance and consultations to the Asian region, resulting in the establishment of a fluorocarbons destruction facility in Indonesia. The MoE intends to continue its efforts to make the proper destruction of fluorocarbons more widely available to other developing countries based upon the experience gained from this project, and thereby contribute to global ozone layer protection and climate change prevention.


China explores ways to protect its grain crops

China is exploring more ecological and effective ways to manage its grain storage in a bid to ensure safe resources for consumption and production. As part of a United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) project, China has stopped using bromomethane as a pesticide in its grain storage facilities. Phosphine fumigation is now being used to control pests at storage depots – especially those in southern China which are most prone to damage by pests. Phosphine is more environmentally friendly and less likely to leave residues in foodstuffs, experts opine. According to official figures, the proportion of grain lost at storage depots is about 0.2 per cent. However, this figure can be as high as 5-10 per cent for individual grain producers due to pests and mildew.

Meanwhile, authorities are experimenting with other physical methods to control pests in grain depots, including using special inert dust and simulating low-voltage oxygen environments in which the pests cannot survive. However, these methods are yet to be implemented in grain depots. Finding effective ways to reduce the amount of grain lost by producers and establishing greener storage methods are two of the six areas that authorities want to address with the aid of international cooperation. The other areas include development of modern grain logistics, enhancing the refined production of grain and edible oils, setting up a modern information system for grain circulation, and building quality control and rapid examination systems.


Meeting environment protection and recycling objectives

The treatment of cooling appliances raises several issues; in particular, the hazardous material they contain is a serious concern. Existing treatment practices have been reviewed in order to assess their environmental performance and highlight the associated CFC and volatile organic compound (VOC) releases into the environment. In Austria, the ordinance on waste prevention, collection and treatment of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment stipulates a minimum recycling and reuse rate of 75 per cent for cooling appliances such as refrigerators and freezers.

Two recycling techniques are presently employed in Austria – maximum material recycling (MM) and material recycling with thermal recovery (TM). Austrian researchers recently studied whether the current recycling and reuse target is compatible with optimal treatment practices for the cooling appliances with respect to resource conservation and environmental protection. To this end, they classified end-of-life refrigerators and freezers into two categories. The first category includes CFC-containing appliances, which are expected to disappear due to the Montreal Protocol’s ban on CFCs. Appliances that contain VOCs form the second category. The team quantified the material conservation and emissions generated by both the MM and TM methods. The results are as follows:

• Resource conservation is more than 40 per cent higher when using the MM recycling technique compared with the TM method. However, resource conservation can be increased for the TM process. This difference is because of a better recycling of metals using the MM technique.
• The ozone depletion potential caused by the treatment of CFC-containing cooling appliances is much higher under the MM technique than under the TM technique.
• The treatment of CFC-containing appliances has a higher acidification potential when using the MM technique whereas the reverse pattern is observed for equipment containing VOCs.
• For both categories of appliances, the reduction of the global warming potential is higher under the MM technique than the TM technique.
• The MM technique generates significantly less solid residuals than the TM technique.

The researchers conclude that these results do not make it possible to identify the best recycling technology. However, they show that for CFC-containing cooling appliances, CFC emissions, which are responsible for ozone depletion, are the most important environmental impacts and should be minimized. In this regard, they suggest that the TM technique is the most suitable method to recycle equipment containing CFCs. For VOC-containing equipment, they suggest that the MM technique could be adopted, from an environmental point of view.



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