The Dow Chemical Company recently succeeded in converting its first facility that manufactures STYROFOAM™ Brand Insulation (extruded polystyrene foam) in Dalton, Georgia, to its new zero ozone-depleting, no-VOC foaming agent technology. The next-generation foaming agent technology comes well in advance of the Montreal Protocol and U.S. EPA guidelines. The Montreal Protocol requires the phase-out of the hydrochloro-fluorocarbon (HCFC) 142b, an ozone-depleting compound by January 1, 2010. The Dalton facility is set to begin shipments by March end, and other plants to follow in sequence throughout the year. The new proprietary technology delivers the same STYROFOAM™ Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) Foam Insulation R-5/inch insulation value†, moisture resistance and compressive strength that has been renowned for offering "greener" choice to builders designing energy efficient homes and buildings with rigid foam insulation.
The proprietary foaming agent technology was developed by a team led by Dow's Simon P. Lee, who was recognized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for his contribution to the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. The manufacture of extruded polystyrene foam insulation at the Dalton facility relies on methane gas from a nearby landfill to reduce the amount of fossil fuels typically consumed during production. As per the company, the production capacity at Dalton of STYROFOAM™ brand insulation could save CO2 emissions equivalent to planting 700 million trees and taking 83,000 cars off the road for a year. The new technology has not affected company's ability to recycle scrap STYROFOAM™ XPS Foam Insulation back into the production line either.