VATIS Update Ozone Layer Protection . Jul-Aug 2010

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Ozone Layer Protection Jul-Aug 2010

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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Understanding the break-up of Antarctic ozone hole

The seemingly random flow of particles in events such as dispersion of volcanic ash through air or spread of oil in ocean can be characterized more effectively, according to work done by Dr. Shane Ross of the Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) Department, Virginia Tech, the United States, and Dr. Francois Lekien of École Polytechnique, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, who have reported their findings in the publication Chaos.

Their research “will aid scientists and engineers in understanding and in controlling this type of global-scale phenomena, such as pollution dispersion in the atmosphere and the ocean, and large-scale transport of biological organisms, including airborne plant pathogens and respiratory disease agents,” said Dr. Ishwar Puri, who heads Virginia Tech’s ESM Department.

Dr. Ross and Dr. Lekien employed existing scientific principles of Lagrangian coherent structures, which reveal the separation of the atmosphere into dynamically distinct regions, to study the shapes of geophysical flow patterns. They used the 2002 discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole in their work since they viewed it as a “prototype atmospheric event”, allowing for their studies on topological divisions on the mixing and transport of atmospheric tracers.

As Dr. Ross described the event, when the ozone hole split in two, allowing one of its fragments or regions to reassert its position over the Antarctic while the other spread into the mid-latitude regions, it implied “a sudden stratospheric warming”. Such global warming occurs in roughly half of all winters in the Arctic. The scientific explanation, Dr. Ross said, is that “they are produced by the dynamic momentum force resulting from the breaking and dissipation of planetary-scale Rossby waves in the stratosphere”. This phenomenon had not been seen in the Antarctic prior to 2002, according to reliable records of 50 years. Consequently, the scientists labelled it a “prototype” of rare atmospheric events. Reviewing data from the event, they were able to determine that an isolated “blob of air” was slowly rotating over Antarctica. Lagrangian coherent structures, some that repel nearby air and some that attract it, formed inside the vortex. The vortex pinched off, sending the north-western part of the ozone hole off into the mid-latitude range, while the south-western portion returned to its regular position over the South Pole. Consequently, the researchers write, when there is more than one vortex flow on a sphere, such as the Earth, “complicated spatial structures can arise and evolve, such as the polar vortex split”. They were able to model this event, capturing some of its dynamic features.

Key compound of ozone destruction detected

Scientists from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany, have successfully measured in the ozone layer the chlorine monoxide dimer (ClOOCl), which plays a major role in stratospheric ozone depletion. Researchers from the KIT Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK) utilized atmospheric infrared measurements to detect the important role that the rather unstable ClOOCl plays in stratospheric ozone destruction at the end of the Arctic winter. IMK’s atmospheric measurements confirm the established models of chlorine compounds in atmospheric ozone chemistry.

During the polar winter after sunrise, ClOOCl rapidly forms atomic chlorine, which may catalytically decompose ozone. The extent of decay to ClOOCl caused by the short-wave sunlight determines the extent of stratospheric polar ozone decomposition. This understanding of the processes involved in ozone-destroying atmospheric chlorine chemistry was questioned by laboratory measurements by some scientists in the United States. According to them, the decay of ClOOCl caused by sunlight is smaller than what was reported by other working groups, thus implying weaker ozone decomposition. However, stratospheric chemistry models using these laboratory measurements were found to significantly underestimate the ozone decomposition. Hence, understanding of the ozone destruction processes in general was questioned.

“The atmospheric measurements made by KIT scientists above Northern Scandinavia with the balloon-borne infrared spectrometer MIPAS-B at heights of more than 20 km clearly disprove the doubts of the American scientists and confirm the existing models of polar ozone chemistry,” underlines Dr. Gerald Wetzel, member of the IMK staff.

Ocean has no impact on stratospheric ozone depletion

Researchers in Canada from University of Toronto and Environment Canada investigated the impact of atmosphere-ocean interactions on the atmospheric response to stratospheric ozone depletion, using a global climate model with a fully resolved stratosphere, troposphere, and with and without an interactive ocean component. The team led by physicist Mr. M. Sigmond from the University of Toronto discovered that while atmosphere-ocean interactions have an impact on internally generated atmospheric fluctuations near the surface, they have no discernable influence on the externally forced atmospheric response to stratospheric ozone depletion. This implies that an interactive ocean component in global climate models may not be crucial for obtaining reliable projections of future atmospheric change following the anticipated recovery of stratospheric ozone.

Bromine measurements in ozone-depleted Arctic air

In the United States, researchers from University of Colorado at Boulder, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Georgia Institute of Technology, University of New Hampshire and National Centre for Atmospheric Research examined on site measurements of ozone, photochemically active bromine compounds and other trace gases over the Arctic Ocean to understand the chemistry and geographical extent of ozone depletion in the Arctic marine boundary layer (MBL).

Data were obtained from NOAA’s WP-3D aircraft during an Aerosol, Radiation and Cloud Processes affecting Arctic Climate (ARCPAC) study and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s DC-8 aircraft during the Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites (ARCTAS) study. Fast (1 second) and sensitive [detection limits at the low parts per trillion by volume (pptv) level] measurements of bromine chloride (BrCl) and bromine monoxide (BrO) were obtained from three different chemical ionization mass spectrometer (CIMS) instruments, and soluble bromide was measured with a mist chamber. The CIMS instruments also detected bromine (Br2).

Subsequent laboratory studies showed that hypobromous acid (HOBr) rapidly converts to Br2 on the Teflon instrument inlets. This detected Br2 is identified as active Br2 and represents a lower limit of the sum of HOBr + Br2. The measured active Br2 is shown as likely to be HOBr during daytime flights in the Arctic. In the MBL over the Arctic Ocean, soluble bromide and active Br2 were consistently elevated and ozone was depleted. This ozone depletion and active Br2 enhancement were confined to the MBL that was capped by a temperature inversion at 200-500 m altitude. In ozone-depleted air, BrO rarely exceeded 10 pptv and was always substantially lower than soluble bromide that was as high as 40 pptv. BrCl was rarely enhanced above the 2 pptv detection limit, either in the MBL over Alaska or in the arctic free troposphere.

Holes discovered in ozone layer over Spain

A research coordinated by Valencia University, Spain, has discovered small holes in the ozone layer just over the Valencia region that increases the risk of ultraviolet rays and sun damage to the skin according to a statement released by the University. Scientist have discovered 24 small holes after analysing every clear (non-cloudy) day in the last eight years.

“These small holes in the ozone layer stratosphere affect the whole Iberian Peninsula and are caused by anomalous anticyclones in the Azores islands,” stated Mr. Jose Antonio Martinez, who heads the Physics of the Earth and Thermodynamics Department of the Physics Faculty. If climate patterns of atmospheric circulations where to change due to processes such as global warming, these details regarding the small holes in the ozone would be essential in the elaboration of prediction maps and special warnings to lower risks for the population.


Legislation, regulations and policies to control HCFCs


India controls hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) through the Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Rules 2000, which provides a comprehensive set of regulations to control and monitor production and use of ozone depleting substances (ODS) in India.

Imports and licensing: Under the Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Rules 2000, HCFC import is restricted (subject to licensing), HCFC import from non-Parties to the Montreal Protocol is prohibited, and import of equipment containing HCFCs is restricted (subject to licensing).

New manufacturing installations: Under the same rules, installation of new capacity to manufacture HCFCs and expansion of existing capacity to manufacture HCFCs are both prohibited.

Registration of HCFC using enterprises

Registration is compulsory under the ODS Regulation and Control (Amendment) Rules, 2004. This amendment was issued so that all enterprises using carbon tetrachloride (CTC) and HCFC for manufacturing activities are required to register with the designated authority on or before 31 December 2005. The rules were further amended on 18 September 2007. As per the amended rules, registration for all ODS was open till 31 December 2009 and the existing registered enterprises were not required to apply for renewal. The use of HCFCs is permitted up to 1 January 2030.
Source: The Montreal Protocol India’s Success Story, Ozone Cell, Ministry of Environment and Forests

More on India Chiller Energy Efficiency Project

The World Bank, in association with the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) initiated India Chiller Energy Efficiency Project (ICEEP) for accelerated replacement of energy inefficient centrifugal chillers based on chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) with energy-efficient non-CFC centrifugal/screw chillers. The project is being jointly financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Multilateral Fund for Implementation of the Montreal Protocol (MLF) and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

ICEEP aims to accelerate the replacement of CFC-based centrifugal chillers with cooling capacity of 100 TR and above installed after 1 January 1993 with non-CFC centrifugal/screw chillers, in order to promote deployment of energy-efficient technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and support the national government to comply with the Montreal Protocol obligations for complete phase-out (including consumption) of new CFCs by 2010 through provision of incentives directly to chiller owners to lower their opportunity costs and upfront capital cost and demonstrate significant rate of return on investment of chiller replacement.

The Project will provide grant under two options: (1) an upfront financial subsidy of 20 per cent of the cost of the replacement of CFC-based centrifugal chillers before end of their technical life; or (2) an annual payment of around 60 per cent CDM revenue from certified emission reductions (CERs) to be generated from the actual energy savings made by the new energy-efficient non-CFC chillers. The project also would provide an incentive of US $0.50 per CER to chiller manufacturers, suppliers and energy service companies to actively participate in the Project. The grant would be provided on first come first served basis.

Training for RSE technicians

In the state of West Bengal, Crystal Refrigeration has been conducting Refrigeration Service Enterprise (RSE) Training Workshops – under the aegis of Human and Institutional Development in Ecological Refrigeration (HIDECOR) & National CFC Consumption Phase-out Plan (NCCoPP) – for technicians and engineers from various organizations in air-conditioning & refrigeration, government in-house maintenance cells, and private small business owners and individual technicians.

RSE training has been designed as effective, practical two-day sessions. The training for Refrigeration Service Enterprise (RSE) technicians illustrate:

  • Good practices in handling chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs);
  • Handling new technology for better servicing;
  • Proper servicing and retrofitting of refrigeration appliances using alternative hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and hydrocarbon refrigerants; and
  • Recovering and re-using CFC/HFC refrigerants.
Contact: Crystal Refrigeration Company, 7 Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose Road, Kolkata 700 017, India. Tel: +91 (33) 2287 6488, 2283 4424; Cell: +91-98308 20848; E-mail:

Trane to implement ICEEP project for IDBI Bank

Ingersoll Rand group of company Trane India, an indoor climate control equipment manufacturer, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with IDBI Bank Limited for the India chiller energy efficiency project (ICEEP). The government of India and the World Bank launched the ICEEP to stimulate the accelerated replacement of existing centrifugal chilled water systems based on R-11 and R-12 chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) to non-CFC (such as HCFC-123 or HFC-134a) centrifugal or screw chilled water systems.

IDBI is the project implementing entity for ICEEP. As per the MoU, ICEEP will provide financial incentives to replace about 370 chilled water systems during the life of the project from 2009 to 2013. Under the project, it is expected that the replacement of existing inefficient CFC-based centrifugal chilled water systems with new non-CFC-based energy efficient centrifugal or screw chilled water systems, will enable beneficiaries to recover their initial investment within a simple payback period of about 36-39 months, based on estimated energy savings of up to 30 per cent.

Trane expects this combination of economic payback and environmental responsibility will be attractive for the many owners of aging CFC cooling plants. “Trane and Ingersoll Rand have been driving many sustainability initiatives in India and have taken a leadership role in working with the government and other key stakeholders towards implementing initiatives that help protect environment,” said Mr. Rajesh Sikka, business leader for Trane in India.


World Bank approves energy savings grants for the Philippines

The World Bank has approved financing for a project in the Philippines that aims to replace around 375 chillers used in industrial, commercial, service, and institutional establishments nationwide with technology that is more energy-efficient and eco-friendly. The “Chillers Energy Efficiency Project” will provide financial incentive to chiller owners to encourage them to replace old chillers that consume around 50 per cent more energy than new ones and emit harmful greenhouse gases. Old chillers use up 50-70 per cent of the total energy requirements in buildings.

The project will be financed by a US$2.6-million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund, a US$1-million grant from the Multilateral Fund (MLF) for the implementation of the Montreal Protocol, and US$7.3-million Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) financing with the German Reconstruction Bank KfW as the carbon buyer. Under the Chiller Energy Efficiency Project, chiller owners can get an upfront grant subsidy of 15 per cent of the cost of new non-chlorofluorocarbon, energy-efficient chillers, or opt for future carbon finance revenues to be generated by energy savings from the replacement of their chillers. In addition, these new energy-efficient chillers substantially reduce operating cost. Financing options available to chiller owners include corporate loans, leasing, financing from energy service companies, and supplier credits.

Achieving climate benefit from HCFC phase-out

Up to 25 giga tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions could be eliminated between 2010 and 2050 through the phase-out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). Such phase-out will also bring a net benefit of advancing the recovery of the ozone layer by up to 3.3 years. A tool-box developed by the OzonAction Branch of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (UNEP-DTIE), with the support of the European thematic programme for environment and sustainable management of natural resources (ENRTP), the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol, was launched recently to help developing countries to contribute to this goal.

The policy and technical publications that form part of the tool-box are designed to help governments and industries in developing countries make timely, informed decisions about the technologies and policies needed to replace or avoid the use of HCFCs, in such a way that it achieves benefits not only for the Earth’s protective ozone layer, but also for the global climate system. The publications are:

  • HCFC Policy and Legislative Options: A Guide for Developing Countries;
  • Phase-out of HCFCs in the Flexible and Rigid Foam Sector – Guidance on Choosing Technology Options that Protect both Ozone and Climate; and
  • Alternatives to HCFCs in the Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Sector - Practical Guidelines and Case Studies for Equipment Retrofit and Replacement.

Contact: United Nations Environment Programme, Paris, France: Ms. Anne Fenner, Tel: +33 (1) 4437 1454, E-mail:; or Ms. Samira de Gobert, Tel: +33 (1) 4437 1452; E-mail:; or Mr. Etienne Gonin, Tel: +33 (1) 4437 1471, E-mail: etienne.gonin@

General Motors to introduce HFO-1234yf refrigerant

General Motors Company, the United States, will introduce HFO-1234yf air-conditioning refrigerant in 2013 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac models in the United States. This could be the first passenger vehicle application in the United States for the new refrigerant, which has 99.7 per cent lower global warming potential (GWP) than R-134a, the currently used refrigerant.

HFO-1234yf, supplied by Honeywell, breaks down faster in the atmosphere than R-134a. On average, R-134a refrigerant has an atmospheric life of more than 13 years, giving it a GWP of more than 1,400. By comparison, the new refrigerant lingers in the atmosphere just for 11 days and has a GWP of only 4. GM says that the use of HFO-1234yf will help its vehicles significantly exceed their targets under the new United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations. A two-year Cooperative Research Programme conducted through SAE International to investigate the safety and environmental performance of HFO-1234yf for mobile air-conditioning (MAC) systems concluded in 2009 that HFO-1234yf can be used as the global replacement refrigerant in future MAC systems.

China eyeing R-22 alternative

At the end of April, China took its first step in the quest for next-generation refrigerants. Instead of switching from the hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) R-22 to the hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) R-410A with high global warming potential (GWP), the country is exploring the viability of the low-GWP HFC-32 and the natural refrigerants ammonia (NH3) and carbon dioxide (CO2).

The Foreign Economic Cooperation Office (FECO) of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the China Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Industry Association (CRAA) have successfully obtained financial support to implement two pilot HCFC phase-out projects from the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund. The projects are ‘Cascade refrigeration system with NH3/CO2 instead of R-22,’ proposed by Yantai Moon, and ‘Light commercial air-source heat pump systems with R-32 instead of R-22,’ proposed by Tsinghua Tongfang Artificial Environment. Both projects will last for 18 months.

Directed by FECO, CRAA is working together with the two companies to start project implementation. The projects will provide valuable experience for the industry as it moves towards replacing R-22 throughout China. As the largest manufacturer and consumer of HCFC products in the world, China is currently facing the challenge of freezing its HCFC production levels in 2013 and reducing them by 10 per cent in 2015, in line with the decision of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol to accelerate the freeze and phase-out of HCFCs by a decade.

The Chinese CRAC industry is seeking suitable HCFC alternatives and technical innovations to help itself prepare for the HCFC phase-out. The Committee for HCFC Replacement in the Commercial Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Industry, which was set up in May 2009 under the aegis of FECO, concluded that research should be conducted on applications using lower-GWP refrigerants such as R-32. It also suggested that natural refrigerants be used in more applications. Based on these recommendations, FECO and CRAA have sought support from the Multilateral Fund for the pilot R-22 replacement projects.

GTZ Proklima supports hydrocarbon AC unit production

Within the framework of the International Climate Initiative, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety is financing a project that intends to convert the production of air-conditioning equipment to the hydrocarbon refrigerant R-290 instead of R-22, the currently used ozone- and climate-damaging hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC). Gree Electric Appliances Inc., the Chinese company that is the largest manufacturer of air-conditioners worldwide, is the project partner. The project also includes comprehensive training for production and service technicians; this covers the responsible and safe handling of inflammable refrigerants and the maintenance of the equipment. In cooperation with technical institutions, training material is being produced and distributed in Chinese and other languages.

Workshops discuss technology, policy options for China, India

On 3-4 June 2010 in Nanjing (China) and 7-8 June 2010 in Delhi (India), stakeholders in the mobile air-conditioning (MAC) sector discussed the current status of policies and technology options, with consideration for the potential environmental impacts. The International Workshop on Next-generation Technologies for Mobile Air-Conditioning in Nanjing drew 125 participants from China’s MAC sector, including components manufacturers, automobile manufacturers and other affiliated industries and was co-organised by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the China Automobile Air-Conditioner Special Association (CAASA). The workshop discussed vehicle manufacturers’ perspective on new refrigerants, reducing emissions from MAC systems, fuel efficiency advancement in compressor designs including those specifically designed for electric and hybrid vehicles, and other topics.

In Delhi, the India Policy Workshop on the Status of MAC Replacement Technologies was organized jointly by UNEP and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), India. The themes were similar to the ones discussed in China, with a particular focus on the ongoing work in India’s MAC servicing sector. Stakeholders committed to continue the exchanges and cooperative work to minimize the impact on the environment in the rapidly growing sector of automobiles.

Ozone depletion over Indonesia at ‘alarming’ levels

The State of Environment Report launched by Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Indonesian President, shows that the ozone level in the country’s stratosphere to be between 230 and 270 Dobson Units (DU). The Head of the Environment Ministry’s atmospheric protection unit, Ms. Tri Hidayati, said the lowest ozone concentration was recorded above eastern Indonesia with some areas such as North Sulawesi recording 223 DU. “The state of the ozone layer above Indonesia has dropped to alarming levels though it can still absorb UV rays,” she said. The report measured the ozone concentration from 2004 to 2009 and blamed ozone-depleting chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) for the decrease noted. Ms. Tri said a number of studies showed an increase in the number of Indonesians suffering from cataracts. “We are still verifying the relation of ozone layer depletion with the increase in cataracts that is now prevalent in people of a productive age,” she said.

News of the thinning of the ozone layer in Indonesia comes amid the government’s massive campaign to cease the use of ozone-depleting substances (ODS). The government has banned the import CFCs, halon, carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform and methyl bromide since 2007 as part of the country’s commitment to protect the planet under the Montreal Protocol. But it has remained unable to stem the substantial illegal ODS market in the country.


‘Smart metal’ refrigerant

A new “smart metal” developed at the University of Maryland, the United States, is up to 175 per cent more efficient as a refrigerant than those currently in use. A team led by Dr. Ichiro Takeuchi, a materials science professor at Maryland, developed the solid coolant as a replacement for more commonly used liquid coolants. The researchers describe the material, a metal alloy, as a “thermally elastic” shape memory alloy.

The conventional liquid refrigerants – chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and the various alternatives that have been introduced to prevent damage to the ozone layer – absorb and release heat when they switch phase between liquid and vapour in a compression system. The new two-state alloy works in a similar way, absorbing or creating heat as required, but is far more energy-efficient and has a smaller operational footprint. The team is testing the alloy in a 90 kg prototype air-conditioning system to determine its commercial viability. Dr. Eric Wachsman, Director of the University of Maryland Energy Research Centre (UMERC), expects the approach to raise cooling efficiency 175 per cent, reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of the United States by 250 million tonnes per year, and replace liquid refrigerants that can cause environmental degradation.

Expanded range of refrigerators

Carrier Transicold, a Carrier Corporation company headquartered in the United States, has extended its alternator-driven NEOS range of refrigeration units with the launch of the NEOS 100S. This conventional split system is designed for commercial vehicles that have a load space of up to 6 m³.

The new model joins its sister unit NEOS 100 to complete a versatile product line-up for small van operators who want superior load-protection combined with environmentally sound technologies. The unit is mounted on the roof of the vehicle, thereby saving any intrusion on the cab, and it is said to fit most makes and models of commercial vehicle. The two NEOS models use non-ozone-depleting R-134a refrigerant to deliver a cooling or heating capacity of 1,140 W.

Both models draw power from the vehicle’s alternator to maintain constant cooling/heating capacity regardless of engine speed. This set-up ensures that constant and accurate temperature is kept. With 80 per cent fewer fittings than an equivalent system running on conventional technology, the NEOS 100 and 100S systems can operate with less refrigerant and with a reduced risk of leaks, which further increases product reliability. This enables them to reach 0°C inside the load space at 30°C ambient with a high airflow of 700m³/h.

New hydrocarbon refrigerant

HCR188C1, a new hydrocarbon refrigerant that displays a zero global warming potential (GWP) and a zero ozone depletion potential, is the first hydrocarbon refrigerant approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for sale in the country. Now, in the United States, ComStar International and A.S. Trust & Holding have come to an agreement to manufacture, market and distribute HCR188C1, which is a patented blend of ethane, propane, butane and other pure hydrocarbons.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has certified HCR188C1 to be non-toxic and, in addition, the coolant is also listed as a refrigerant with ETL (Intertek). HCR188C1 – designed to replace environmentally harmful chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) – will be shortly at the public comment stage, as solicited by ASHRAE.

Intertek Testing Services NA, Inc. of Columbus OH has tested HCR188C1 and shown it to display properties far superior to R-134a, a high-GWP HFC commonly used in today’s refrigerators, freezers and air-conditioning systems. For example, in refrigerators running with HCR188C1, energy tests have shown a 48 per cent decrease in power consumption when compared with the same units operating with R-134a, all while using just 25 per cent of a normal charge of R-134a (by volume) or just 40 per cent of a normal charge of R-22. The coolant operates effectively in equipment containing mineral oil and can be a direct replacement for R-134a and R-22 in appliances and air-conditioning systems. Though inflammable, the very small amount of this climate-friendly refrigerant required in such systems presents an exceedingly small risk, sources say. A.S. Trust & Holding holds a patent on a Refrigerant Safety Service Port Valve that could be used on larger systems. This unique valve operates by shutting down the system when there is a drop in operating pressure. Comstar will blend the coolant at its Houston facility. HCR188C1 will be available through Comstar.

A prototype ammonia chiller

Germany-based Bitzer Kühlmaschinenbau GmbH, a leading manufacturer of refrigerant compressors, recently showcased a prototype ammonia chiller to replace R-22 systems for various applications with different capacities. With an innovative microchannel condenser, the new chiller is more efficient but smaller in size than other Bitzer models. The innovative R717 technology features zero global warming potential (GWP) and zero ozone depletion potential (ODP). The capacity ranges envisioned are 20 kW to 140 kW, and 20 kW to 80 kW. The units have higher energy efficiency than HFC chillers. Potential applications are in food processing, food distribution, process cooling, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning.

Industrial refrigerants

Enviro-Safe, the United States, offers industrial refrigerants that are environmentally safe, non-global warming and non-ozone depleting. Enviro-Safe Industrial 12a Refrigerant, a replacement for R-12 and R-134a, has all the benefits of typical Enviro-Safe refrigerants with the added bonus that it gets 5°C cooler. Because of its high efficiency, up to 30 per cent less of it is needed when compared with equivalent refrigerant products. Enviro-Safe 22a Refrigerant is a substitute for R-22. It allows refrigeration systems to operate with less head pressure and is very efficient, with up to 40 per cent energy savings over R-22. Contact: Enviro-Safe Refrigerants Inc., 400 Margaret Street, Pekin, IL 61554, United States of America. Tel: +1 (309) 346 1110; E-mail:


New water-based anti-fog coating technology

In the United States, Aqua Based Technologies, a division of ADM Tronics Inc., has introduced a new water-based, anti-fog coating for the food packaging industry. The coating is repulpable, biodegradable and has high oil and grease resistance (OGR). AquaCote™ Anti-Fog 7000 was specifically developed as an alternative to solvent anti-fog coatings. In laboratory tests, the product is reported to have passed demanding tests for anti-fog properties while containing zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and no ozone depleting ingredients. AquaCote Anti-Fog 7000 is formulated from ingredients that are found on lists cleared for direct food contact by the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) of the United States. It can be used for coating food wrappers, covers, trays and containers for frozen food packaging, ice-cream boxes and packaging related to fresh foods, dairy, meats and cheeses, or any food packaging product that requires anti-fog feature. The coating also has heat seal properties. Contact: Aqua Based Technologies Inc., 224 Pegasus Avenue, Northvale, NJ 07647, United States of America. Tel: +1 (201) 767 6040; Fax: +1 (201) 784 0620; E-mail:; Website:

Multipurpose cleaner/degreaser

Supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other agencies, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Viet Nam has been successful in securing US$5 million funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to address the persisting dioxin problems in the most contaminated areas of the country.

Recycled metals, the largest segment of the market, is expected to reach US$11.4 billion in 2014, after increasing at a CAGR of 8.8 per cent (2009 value – US$7.5 billion). The recycled plastics segment (2009 value – US$976 million) is expected to increase at a CAGR of 10 per cent to reach nearly US$1.6 billion in 2014. Recycled silica, the smallest segment of the market, is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.1 per cent (2009 value – US$4.9 million) to US$6.9 million in 2014.

The fund would be used to implement “Environmental Remediation of Dioxin Contaminated Hot spots in Viet Nam”, a new project with a focus on three main hot spots – Bien Hoa Airport in southern Dong Nai province, Da Nang Airport in central Da Nang City and Phu Cat Airport in central Binh Dinh province. The dioxin concentration in these three places is much higher than permitted by national and international standards.

Non-ODP flux remover

Novec™ Flux Remover from 3M, based in the United States, removes rosin solder fluxes, waxes and similar contaminants found in electronics manufacturing and repair. The solvent is non-inflammable, has zero ozone depleting potential (ODP), and does not contain hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), n-propyl bromide (nPB) or hazardous air pollutants (HAPs).

It is compatible with most plastics, except acrylics, polycarbonates, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene and polystyrene. Besides rosin solder fluxes and waxes, it also effectively removes hydrocarbon, silicone and flurochemical oils and greases encountered in the maintenance of electronic devices such as electric motors, generators, precision devices and other electromechanical or sensitive equipment.

The Novec Flux Remover is fast-drying and does not leave any residue. It has low odour and toxicity. This industrial strength cleaner is non-corrosive. Contact: 3M Corporate Headquarters, 3M Centre, St. Paul, MN 55144-1000, Minnesota, United States of America. Tel: +1 (888) 364 3577.

Vapour degreasing solvents

Petroferm Cleaning Products, the United States, offers five vapour degreasing solvents with aerospace approvals. Lenium ES is an azeotrope of n-propyl bromide (nPB) and isopropyl alcohol (IPA). Designed to remove solder paste and flux residues as well as ionic contamination from circuit assemblies and microelectronics, it also removes metalworking fluids and debinding agents. It does not contain any chlorinated or brominated solvents.

Lenium FHD is a fluorinated solvent designed for heavy-duty precision cleaning applications. The non-ozone depleting, high Threshold Limit Value (TLV) solvent removes greases, lubricants, oils and other metalworking fluids. Lenium FRA is also a fluorinated rinsing agent for use in co-solvent and bi-solvent vapour degreasing. It does not deplete ozone, and has excellent plastic compatibility and high TLV.

Lenium GS is formulated with nPB for removing greases, lubricants, metalworking fluids and waxes. Lenium XS is an extra-stabilized nPB solvent, which is excellent for airless vacuum degreasers as well as humid environments. It removes greases, oils, lubricants, metalworking fluids and waxes. Contact: Petroferm Cleaning Products, 3938 Porett Drive, Gurnee, Illinois 60031, United States of America. Tel: +1 (847) 244 3410; Fax: +1 (847) 249 6346; E-mail:

New silicone carrier fluid

MicroCare Medical, the United States, has introduced SpecClean™ silicone carrier fluid. The new product is a non-inflammable solution that is totally safe for plastics yet able to work with traditional silicone coatings. With excellent materials compatibility, quick evaporation (no volatile organic compounds) and no residues, this solvent can be used for the dilution and deposition of silicone onto medical devices. It replaces aliphatic, aromatic organic, ozone-depleting and chlorinated solvents. SpecClean silicone carrier fluid is claimed to meet all regulations of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is Significant New Alternatives Programme (EPA SNAP) approved to replace ozone-depleting solvents.

The carrier fluid is compatible with stainless steel, brass, carbon steel and most non-ferrous metals, as well as with most common industrial plastics such as polycarbonate, acrylic, Nylon, polyethylene, elastomers, etc. Contact: MicroCare Corp., 595 John Downey Drive, New Britain, CT 06051, United States of America. Tel: +1 (860) 82 0626; Fax: +1 (860) 827 8105; E-mail:


First tough-elastic foam

BASF, a global company with its headquarters in Germany, has introduced an innovation: E-por®, a material that is based on a new formulation and is manufactured in a new production process. E-por is the first tough-elastic, crack-resistant foam that can be transported, stored, processed and recycled like traditional expandable polystyrene (EPS) Styropor. E-por is noted for very good fusion of the surface, excellent resistance to solvents, and an appealing look and feel. Because of its high crack-resistance, it is multishock-safe and therefore, well-suited for transport packaging for high-quality, shock-sensitive electrical and electronic products, such as television sets, laptops, refrigerators, etc. E-por has a very low blowing agent content (below 6 per cent). It offers advantages for the entire value chain. Appliance manufacturers are provided with a dust-free, flexible packaging material that allows compact packaging with reduced damage and low disposal costs. Retailers and consumers can dispose of the transport packaging by the Styropor way, which is cost-efficient and without additional efforts. Contact: Dr. Sabine Philipp, BASF SE, Carl-Bosch-Strasse 38, 67056 Ludwigshafen, Germany. Tel: +49 (621) 604 3348; Fax: +49 (621) 604 9497; E-mail:

Lower costs with new insulation foam technology

Hanjin Shipping, the Republic of Korea, is starting to convert its fleet of refrigerated containers over to “eco-friendly” reefers. The container ship operator started using these containers at the end of May 2010 when it began receiving 1,000 units from MCI Qingdao (MCIQ), a Chinese manufacturer of refrigerated containers. MCIQ now uses a process with an environmental-friendly foam-blowing technology: sustainable polyurethane technology (SuPoTeC) in place of HCFC-141b urethane foam ordinarily injected to sandwich plates of reefers for insulation. While ordinary urethane foam produces about 23 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) during dismantlement while SuPoTec produces only 69 kg of CO2.

New orders or leases by Hanjin Shipping will all be for these SuPoTec reefers. The company said it expects the containers to only reduce environmental impact but also save costs, as they are free from environmental regulations when scrapped after more than 10 years of use.

Blowing agent for thermosetting foams

Arkema Inc., the United States, is patenting a blowing agent for thermosetting foams. The blowing agent combines hydrofluoropropene HFO-1243zf with a hydrochlorofluoroolefin (HCFO) – HCFO-1233zd, HCFO-1233xf or HCFO-1223. The blowing agent based upon unsaturated halogenated hydroolefins has low or zero ozone depletion potential and low global warming potential. The composition can further comprises a second, different hydrofluoroolefin (HFO), a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), a hydrocarbon, an alcohol, an aldehyde, an ester, a ketone ether/diether or carbon dioxide.

HFO-1243zf in combination with HCFO-1233zd, HCFO-1233xf or HCFO-1223, and their mixtures, can be used as a foaming agent for thermosetting foams by mixing in a polyol mixture used in producing polyurethane and polyisocyanurate foams. The resultant products show superior quality including decreased density and improved k-factor. The foaming agent readily dissolves in thermosetting polymers and provides a degree of plasticization sufficient to produce acceptable foams. The invention also relates to foam, preferably closed cell foam, prepared from a polymer foam formulation containing a blowing agent with the compositions of the invention.

Foaming of an immiscible blend using organic liquid

Led by Mr. Peter Gutmann of the Department of Polymer Engineering, researchers from University of Bayreuth, Germany, have studied the foaming of an immiscible blend using an organic liquid as the blowing agent. The objective of the study was to evaluate systematically the foaming behaviour of immiscible blend systems poly(2,6-dimethyl-1,4-phenylene ether) (PPE) and poly(styrene-co-acrylonitrile) (SAN) using ethanol and n-pentane as blowing agents.

In immiscible polymer blends like PPE and SAN, the differences in glass-transition temperature (Tg) and viscosity are vast and can inhibit the foaming of the blend system. To minimize this difference in Tg and viscosity, one approach is to choose a blowing agent that shows a selective solubility in one polymer phase, working as a selective plasticizer.

As function of the PPE/SAN-blend compositions, ethanol showed a selective solubility in SAN, while n-pentane displayed a high affinity to PPE. The plasticizing effect on the blend phases was theoretically estimated using the Chow-equation and the WLF-equation. The scientists also analysed the density reduction and the cellular structures and correlated them to the blend morphology, the blowing agent solubility in blend phase, the rheological properties and the glass transition temperature of the unsaturated and saturated blend phases. Contact: Mr. Peter Gutmann, Polymer Engineering Department, Universitätsstrasse 30, 95447 Bayreuth, Germany. E-mail:

Synthesis of carbon foams from arylacetylene

Researchers from the University of Shanghai for Science & Technology (USST) and Tongji University, China, have studied the synthesis of carbon foams with a high compressive strength from arylacetylene. Led by Mr. Shu-ping Zhang from the USST College of Science, the researchers prepared carbon foams with high mechanical strength by polymerization of arylacetylene using sulphuric acid as a catalyst, pentane as a blowing agent and Tween 80 as a bubble stabilizer, followed by carbonization. By controlling the blowing agent proportion, the volume and concentration of the catalyst, the amount of the bubble stabilizer, etc. – carbon foams with good porous structure, smooth ligaments and junctions without microcracks could be fabricated.

The typical foam possessed a high compressive strength of 25.8 MPa and a high strength/density ratio of 43.0 MPa/(g/cm3), owing to a high char yield of the arylacetylene polymer, which was up to 86 per cent after carbonization. Contact: Mr. Li-hua Gan, College of Science, University of Shanghai for Science & Technology, Shanghai 200093, China. E-mail:


Inhalation devices for sedatives

MAP Pharmaceuticals Inc., the United States, has applied for formulations, methods, inhalation devices and kits for the treatment of sleep disturbances. The devices generally include a housing, an aerosol generating mechanism and a sedative composition. The preferred inhalation device is a pressurized metered dose inhaler (pMDI), which may be breath-actuated. Besides the sedative, excipients such as solvents, dispersants, preservatives, antioxidants, flavouring agents and buffering agents may be used in the compositions.

The sedative composition may be contained in a pMDI that has two components, a canister in which the drug formulation is stored under pressure as a suspension or solution, and a receptacle that is used to hold and actuate the canister. The canister may contain single or multiple doses of the formulation. The canister typically includes a valve outlet from which the canister contents can be discharged. Aerosolized drug is dispensed from the pMDI by applying a force on the canister to push it into the receptacle thereby opening the valved outlet and causing the drug formulation to be conveyed from the valved outlet through the receptacle outlet. The propellant used in the pMDI could be hydrofluroralkane (HFA). Contact: MAP Pharmaceuticals Inc., 2400 Bayshore Parkway, Suite 200, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States of America. Tel: +1 (650) 386 3100; Fax: +1 (650) 386 3101.

HFA nasal aerosol gives positive test results

In the United States, Teva Respiratory, a subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. of Israel, has announced positive results from a Phase III trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) nasal aerosol in the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR). The study met all efficacy endpoints, demonstrating a statistically significant benefit as compared with placebo. Furthermore, the safety profile of BDP HFA Nasal Aerosol was similar to placebo.

The development addresses the unmet clinical need among allergic rhinitis patients who are looking for a solution that delivers a ‘dry’ experience to avoid the ‘wet feeling’ and postnasal drip associated with the nasal spray formulations, said Mr. Mark Salyer, General Manager of Teva Respiratory. Following the decision of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to phase out chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from metered dose inhalers (MDIs), the United States intranasal spray market is composed only of aqueous or “wet feeling” products.

Based on results from the Phase I study that evaluated the pharmacokinetics, safety and tolerability of HFA-propelled BDP, the systemic exposure following administration of the treatment (up to 320 mcg/day) was approximately 27 per cent of orally inhaled BDP HFA. The product was also generally well tolerated and comparable to placebo.

CFC-free pharmaceutical propellant

Dymel® 134a/P from DuPont, the United States, is a non-ozone-depleting alternative propellant for pharmaceutical applications. It is available for commercial use, is manufactured in compliance with the current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and meets the requirements of health authorities worldwide. Dymel 134a/P is manufactured in a separate facility that is cGMP compliant and dedicated solely to its production. This propellant and its blends are available in dedicated containers ranging in size from 55 kg to 20 tonnes.

The chemical composition of Dymel 134a/P is 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane (HFA-134a) and the pharmaceutical grade has stringent purity and handling requirements. Dymel 134a/P has received affirmation from worldwide governmental bodies for use in metered dose inhalers (MDIs) and other pharmaceutical applications.

HFA supension formulations containing an anticholinergic

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG, Germany, has secured a United States patent on an invention relating to propellant gas formulations containing suspensions of crystalline tiotropium bromide monohydrate in the propellant gases hydrofluroralkane (HFA), HFA-227 and/or HFA-134a, optionally in admixture with one or more other propellant gases, preferably selected from the group consisting of propane, butane, pentane, dimethylether, chlorodifluoromethane, difluoromethane, trifluoroethane, isobutane, isopentane and neopentane.

Preferred suspensions according to the invention are those that contain as propellant gas HFA-227 on its own, a mixture of HFA-227 and HFA-134a or HFA-134a on its own. If a mixture of propellant gases HFA-227 and HFA-134a is used in the suspension formulations according to the invention, the weight ratios in which these two propellant gas components are used may be freely selected. If any other propellant gas is also used, the proportion of this other propellant gas component is preferably less than 30 per cent.

The invention preferably relates to suspensions that contain from 0.0012 to 1 per cent, and more preferably from 0.25 to 0.5 per cent, of crystalline tiotropium bromide monohydrate. The propellant-containing inhalation aerosols or suspension formulations may also contain other ingredients such as surfactants, adjuvants, antioxidants and/or flavourings. The propellant gas-containing suspensions may be administered using pressurized metered dose inhalers (pMDIs). The invention relates also to the use of the suspensions for preparing a pharmaceutical composition for the treatment by inhalation of respiratory complaints, particularly asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.


Control of nematodes with biological nematicide

MeloCon® WG from Certis USA LLC., the United States, is a new biological nematicide for control of nematodes infesting vegetables, fruits and other crops. The active ingredient of MeloCon is a natural soil-dwelling fungus (Paecilomyces lilacinus strain PL251) which parasitizes many types of plant nematodes, such as root knot (Meloidogyne), sting (Belonolaimus), cyst (Globodera and Heterodera), burrowing (Radopholus), root lesion (Pratylenchus). PL251 spores germinate upon contact with nematode eggs, juvenile stages and adults in the soil. The growing fungus engulfs and penetrates the nematode over a period of several days, killing it by consuming its body contents.

MeloCon reportedly has no adverse impact on crops or non-target organisms, including beneficial nematodes that attack soil insect pests, and can be an alternative to chemical soil fumigation. It can be applied up to and including the day of harvest, and can be used on both conventional and organic crops, the company says. Each gram of MeloCon WG has at least 10 billion spores of the PL251 fungus formulated on a water-soluble sugar carrier for easy mixing and application. An application rate of 900 g/acre of MeloCon WG is the equivalent of nearly 1.5 million spores per square inch. PL251 fungus is an obligate parasite of nematodes; it does not colonize the root or feed on root exudates. In the absence of nematodes, the spores decline in the soil over a period of 3 to 6 weeks. Spores of PL251 become active in soil above 20°C, with optimal temperature for germination and growth between 24° and 30°C. Contact: Certis USA LLC, 9145 Guilford Road, Suite 175, Columbia, MD 21046, United States of America.

Alternative soil fumigant for strawberries

The Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA), New Zealand, has approved an application to import and manufacture the soil fumigant Ripper for pre-plant soil fumigation of commercial strawberry fields. Ripper contains methyl iodide and chloropicrin. Approval was sought for its use by the strawberry industry as an alternative to methyl bromide.

Ripper is not an ozone-depleting substance. It is, however, highly toxic and rules have been set to protect workers and the public from exposure. It may be used only once a year for pre-plant soil fumigation, and a maximum application rate per hectare has been set. The substance cannot be applied into or onto water. Contact: Ms. Sarah Kenward, Senior Communications Advisor, ERMA New Zealand, P.O. Box 131, Wellington 6140, New Zealand. Tel: +64 (4) 918 4813; Fax: +64 (4) 914 0433 E-mail:

Grain fumigant alternatives to methyl bromide

Dr. Eli Shaaya and Dr. Moshe Kostyukovsky from The Volcani Centre, Israel, conducted a study to evaluate the potential use of the known isothiocyanates (ITC) as compared with a new ITC isolated from Eruca sativa (salad rocket) as fumigants for the control of stored products insects. The biological activity of methyl iodide (CH3I), carbon disulphide (CS2), benzaldehyde (C7H6O) and some essential oils were also evaluated for efficacy against adults and larvae of a number of major stored-product insects. Comparative studies showed CH3I to be the most active compound against stored-product insects, followed by CS2 and C7H6O. As CH3I is toxic to humans, its use in food as a fumigant is limited. CS2 is inflammable, but can be a supplement to increase the activity of other fumigants. A mixture of trichloroethylene, CS2 and carbon tetrachloride in a ratio of 64:26:10, respectively, was found to be effective against stored-product insects. The findings suggest that certain plant essential oils and their active constituents, mainly terpenoids, have potentially high bioactivity against a range of insects and mites. They are also highly selective to insects, since they are probably targeted to the insect-selective octopaminergic receptor, a non-mammalian target. Contact: Dr. Eli Shaaya Dept. of Food Science, The Volcani Centre, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel. E-mail:


Blowing Agents and Foaming Processes 2010 Conference Proceedings

The 12th international Blowing Agents & Foaming Processes conference showcased the latest academic and industrial research shaping the future for so many industry applications. The proceedings cover all the presentations from the conference, which include developments in chemical and physical foaming, new applications and processes, nano and standard substrates, particle foams, etc.

Contact: iSmithers, Shawbury, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY4 4NR, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1939) 250383; E-mail:

Alternatives to HCFCs in the Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Sector

This guide reflects the fact that there are many technology developments taking place to phase out hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) – it is a developing scene. It aims to avoid the need of future installations of HCFC equipment, which could be at present the cheapest solution for developing countries, to increase retrofits when possible, and to encourage the uptake of new HCFC-free technologies.

Contact: UNEP DTIE OzonAction Branch, 15 rue Milan, 75441 Paris Cedex 09, France. Tel: +33 (1) 4437 1450; Fax: +33 (1) 4437 1474; E-mail:

Guidance on the Process for Selecting Alternatives to HCFCs in Foams

This guide assesses the drivers, priorities and new factors to be considered by the foam sector. Encompassing a guide on how to select technologies, the publication offers a review of options, their strengths and weaknesses.

Contact: UNEP DTIE OzonAction Branch, 15 rue Milan, 75441 Paris Cedex 09, France. Tel: +33 (1) 4437 1450; Fax: +33 (1) 4437 1474; E-mail:


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