An Analysis of Policies on Blowing Agent for Rigid PU Foam
2020-04-01    [Source:PUdaily]
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PUdaily, Shanghai- The ozone layer is the layer with high ozone concentration in the stratosphere of the atmosphere. Most of the ultraviolet radiation is absorbed by ozone, thus protecting creatures on the earth from the harm of far ultraviolet radiation. The absorbed ultraviolet radiation also has a warming effect on the atmosphere. The rest of the ultraviolet radiation, penetrating through the ozone layer, is beneficial to the creatures due to its disinfecting effects.
 
However, with the development of human industrial civilization, in the middle of the 20th century chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) caused great damage to the ozone layer due to their mass production and use. Therefore, since the 1970s calls for the protection of the ozone layer have been rising. In the mid-1970s, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) initiated ozone layer research program and held a series of international conferences themed the protection of ozone layer. In September 1987, UNEP held an international conference in Montreal, Canada, which was attended by representatives from more than 40 countries. 24 countries signed the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (hereinafter referred to as the Montreal Protocol) aimed at restricting the use of ODS.
 
China signed the Montreal Protocol in 1991. In 2003, it joined the London and Copenhagen Amendments to the Montreal Protocol.
 
The Ministry of Ecology and Environment required that the complete elimination of HCFC in polyurethane foam industry should be brought forward to 2026. This means that by the end of 2025, the use of HCFC-141b will be banned in all application fields of polyurethane. In October 2018, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment issued the Announcement on Prohibiting the Production of Refrigerators, Freezers, Reefer Containers and Electric Water Heaters Using HCFC-141b as the Blowing Agent. According to the announcement, starting from January 1, 2019, the use of HCFC-141b would be banned in refrigerators, freezers, reefer containers and electric water heaters. Thus the move accelerated the elimination of 141b blowing agent.
 
In 2018, a research report said that at least one entity in some part of the world was producing CFC-11, which is banned for its damage to the ozone layer. Scientists have found that although CFC-11 was banned in 2010, CFC-11 emissions are still rising. This suggests that the chemical is still in use somewhere in the world, but the sources of the emissions can't be identified.
 
A 2019 study reveals the possible sources of the emissions. According to Bristol University, the international team of scientists used global monitoring networks such as NOAA Global Monitoring Division and AGAGE to zoom down emissions sources to east China, especially Hebei and Shandong provinces.
 
In response, the Chinese government carried out investigation and didn't found illegal use of this blowing agent. Thus it can be seen that we have a long way to go before CFC-11 is totally eliminated.

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