On October 15, 2016, the Kigali Amendment was enacted to virtually eliminate the use of global warming hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) as foam blowing agents, refrigerants and other products. Today, just 3 years later, the amendment has been ratified by 87 countries – and the list continues to grow – proving without a doubt that the world is transitioning away from HFCs.
HFCs are greenhouse gases which can have high global warming potentials (GWPs), some more than 14,000. Under the amendment, most developed countries began reducing HFC use on January 1, 2019 and have committed to reductions of at least 40% by 2024, and later by 85%.
The worldwide market for products containing HFC-blown polyurethanes is shrinking quickly. And while the United States has yet to ratify the Kigali Amendment, there is bipartisan support to do so. If/when that happens, manufacturers still using HFC blowing agents will need to change quickly in order to maintain sales in the US.
The good news is that Ecomate® blowing agent technology is a proven, effective and available alternative to HFCs and is both affordable and easy to implement. It can be used in rigid foam systems (Ecofoam® and Ecomarine™), flexible and integral skin foams (Ecoflex™), spray foam (Ecospray®), hot and cold cast elastomers (Ecocast™) and more. Plus, Ecomate-based foam systems perform as well as or better than HFC-blown foams.
The implementation of the Kigali Amendment will definitely reduce or eliminate the demand for products that contain HFC blowing agents in most of the world – including key US trading partners like Canada and Mexico. To see a current list of countries that have ratified the Kigali Amendment, click here.