Destruction Process Gears for 2012

Midwest Refrigerants’ approach to the destruction of unwanted refrigerants has gained approval that will now allow startup of the process in the United States in mid-2012. According to Midwest’s president, Lewis Steinberg, “At the 23rd meeting of the parties of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer held in Bali, Indonesia, in November 2011, the Midwest Refrigerants ODS/GHG Chemical Conversion (Destruction) technology has been accepted as an Approved Destruction Process by the UNEP-TEAP (United Nations Environment Program-Technology and Economic Assessment Panel).”

He said the technology is patented as the Synthesis Anhydrous Hydrogen (H2) Halide and Anhydrous Carbon Dioxide (CO2). It was one of approximately 16 processes approved. This follows an earlier announcement that the U.S. Patent Office had allowed Midwest the patent for the ODS/GHG conversion technology.

The Midwest conversion process was designed to deal with CFCs, HCFCs, and other refrigerants. Steinberg noted that while CFCs are not used very much and efforts are underway to phase out HCFCs, a great deal of equipment still uses HCFCs. And while recovery and reclaim is an ongoing factor, there is a point when these refrigerants have to be eliminated without venting, he said. To date, large rotary kilns or incinerators have been used for their destruction.

“Instead of destroying them, Midwest can take unwanted refrigerants and make them into something useful,” Steinberg said. In addition to CFCs and HCFCs, the approach can also deal with HFCs, HFOs, as well as perfluorocarbon compounds, halons, and certain bromides and chlorides, he noted.

Steinberg said the Midwest approach involves a technology that doesn’t require a big industrial facility. The resulting byproducts can also be resold as raw materials to manufacture chemicals, aluminum, and electronics and for use in other industrial processes.

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Publication date: 01/09/2012

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