Priority for growth is in South-east Asia
By Liz White
The hydrochlorofluorocarbon blowing agent HCFC-141b is still the most widely used foaming agent worldwide, according to Christoph Meurer, global sales and marketing manager for Solvay’s blowing agents.
Meurer said this is despite the fact that HCFC-141b has already been phased out in Europe under Montreal Protocol rules, and is being gradually eliminated globally.
Solvay still makes HCFC-141b, although in much smaller amounts than before, Meurer stressed.
The Belgian chemicals group exports it to those countries, mostly developing ones, still permitted to use the material, Meurer explained, in a 7 Sept interview during the UTECH Asia/PU China 2011 event in Shanghai, China.
He noted that there is still a large market for HCFC-141b, with China the biggest user and production base.
Solvay’s offerings for the polyurethanes sector are foam blowing agents and brominated fire retardants.
At present, Solvay’s hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) blowing agent range is made only in Europe, said Meurer. The range consists of three hydrofluorocarbon grades – pure HFC-365mfc and two blends with HFC-227ea in two ratios, serving different segments.
The company also has two brominated FRs, which are reactive polyols, one for rigid PU foams and one mainly for one-component foams, with some use in PU.
Solvay views PU as one of its key industries. “For PU in insulation, the way we are setting our strategy…