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Fluorine products HFC-245fa plant, start up on track

Honeywell Specialty Materials Europe : 27 August, 2001  (New Product)
Honeywell has announced that construction on its HFC-245fa manufacturing facility is on schedule for start-up July 1, 2002. On April 5, 2001 the company marked the groundbreaking of the facility with a customer event.
Honeywell has announced that construction on its HFC-245fa manufacturing facility is on schedule for start-up July 1, 2002. On April 5, 2001 the company marked the groundbreaking of the facility with a customer event.

'This milestone highlights our ongoing technical leadership and our commitment to servicing the long term needs of the global foam industry,' said Carol Bibb, Honeywell's Specialty Fluorine Business Director. 'We are pleased that so many of our foam customers celebrated this event with us.'

Attendees at the groundbreaking event included representatives from the polyurethane and polyisocyanurate industries and local and state agencies. As a part of the groundbreaking event, guests enjoyed a Cajun-style celebration and side trips to Bourbon Street and historic New Orleans.

Hydrofluorocarbon HFC-245fa is Honeywell's non-ozone depleting blowing agent designed primarily to replace hydrochlorofluorocarbon HCFC-141b in a variety of foam blowing applications. These applications include refrigerator and freezer insulation foams, boardstock foam used in construction for roofing and sheathing, spray foam used in construction applications, foam used in insulated transportation vehicles, and a variety of other insulating foam applications.

HCFC-141b is being phased out as part of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The US is scheduled to phase-out HCFC-141b production on December 31, 2002. Europe has established market phaseouts for HCFC-141b in the 2002-2004 timeframe. Additional global ODP reductions, required by all signatory countries to the Montreal Protocol, begin on January 1, 2004.

Construction and site information

Honeywell has benefited from recent experience designing and constructing plants similar to the Geismar plant now under construction and expects to complete the plant on schedule. At its peak, the project will involve approximately 1200 contractors. The plant represents a significant investment and is expected to add 40-60 permanent jobs.

The Geismar, Louisiana site is well suited for hydrofluorocarbon production.

According to David Cope, Plant Manager for Honeywell's Geismar facility, 'the Geismar workforce has an outstanding record in safety and productivity and this investment is a tribute to their dedication.'

Honeywell currently produces a variety of fluorine-based products at the Geismar complex, which is large enough to accommodate the new plant. Also in the Geismar area is Vulcan Chemicals, who is currently on schedule with a plant designed to supply the key feedstock for HFC-245fa.

Insulation and non-flammability are key benefits of HFC-245fa

'HFC-245fa is the leading replacement for HCFC-141b and will play a key role in improving the energy efficiency of appliances, refrigerated transportation vehicles and buildings.

Given the improved energy efficiency, the usage of HFC-245fa will lead to reduced CO2 emissions as a result of lower power consumption and help in fighting global warming,' said Carol Bibb.

'The insulation performance of HFC-245fa is superior to other non-ozone depleting products, such as hydrocarbons, HFC-365mfc and HFC-134a,' she continued. 'Honeywell is currently working with customers to engineer HFC-245fa blends that will enable them to further tailor the insulation performance and cost effectiveness of their products,' noted Bibb.

Another key benefit of HFC-245fa is its non-flammability. It is a safe alternative when compared with flammable blowing agents, such as hydrocarbons and HFC-365mfc, both of which present its users with significant safety challenges.

Semi-commercial quantities of HFC-245fa available

According to Carol Bibb, Honeywell has semi-commercial quantities of HFC-245fa available. 'We look forward to continue field-testing HFC-245fa blown foams in the marketplace', she said.

Dave Williams, Technology Group Leader, added, 'Our Buffalo Technical Center will continue to play a key role in making the transition successful for our customers. Our technical centre is working closely with the industry to develop cost effective HFC-245fa based blowing agent solutions'.
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