Dow’s facility in Varennes, Quebec, converts to zero ozone-depleting, no-VOC foaming agent technology

Dow Building Solutions’ facility in Varennes, Quebec, that manufactures STYROFOAM Brand Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) Foam Insulation, has converted to its new zero ozone-depleting, no-VOC (volatile organic compound) foaming agent technology. The facility in Varennes marks the third conversion for Dow, and its first in Canada which, like the U.S., is required under the Montreal Protocol to phase out hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) 142b, an ozone-depleting compound, before January 1, 2010. Dow’s facilities in Hanging Rock, Ohio, and Dalton, Ga., have also been converted and have begun shipping STYROFOAM Brand Insulation made with the new technology.


“We are operating on a very precisely calibrated conversion schedule, with a team of technical specialists who travel from site to site to ensure quality and performance standards are consistent across our manufacturing process,” said Mike McGaugh, general manager for Dow Building Solutions, North America. “With three conversions now completed, our customers can feel confident that we will be able to supply them with quality insulation to build more energy efficient homes and buildings, just as we have been doing for the past 60 years.”


Dow developed its next-generation foaming agent technology well in advance of the Montreal Protocol and U.S. EPA guidelines, and is on track to convert its facilities in accordance with the phase-out deadline. Dow’s new proprietary technology delivers the same STYROFOAM Brand XPS Foam Insulation R-5/inch insulation value, moisture resistance and compressive strength that it has for more than 60 years, and offers an even “greener” choice to builders designing energy efficient homes and buildings with rigid foam insulation.


The new 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 new technology has not affected Dow’s ability to recycle scrap STYROFOAM Brand XPS Foam Insulation back into the production line either- just as its plants have been doing for many years.

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