8 Things to Know About the HCFC-225 Usage Ban

by Michelle S. on April 4, 2014

On January 1, 2015, HCFC-255 will be banned for usage under the Clean Air Act per Montreal Protocol. Be prepared for the impact these new regulations will have on your manufacturing processes – read on to discover the facts and learn more about what comes next.

1. Why is HCFC-225 being phased out? HCFCs are hydrochlorofluorocarbons, substances which are known to deplete the ozone layer. Under the Montreal Amendment, there must be a 90% reduction in the use of HCFCs prior to 2015. In the United States, the EPA enforces these regulations under the Clean Air Act.

2. What exactly is HCFC-225? Commercially known as AK-225, it is a mixture of HCFC-225ca and HCFC-225cb isomers. With good solvency and thermal stability, AK-225 is useful for precision cleaning and vapor degreasing applications.

3. How is the phase-out defined? In accordance with the Clean Air Act, beginning January 1, 2015 HCFC-225 can no longer be imported, sold, transported or used as a liquid solvent.

4. Are there exceptions? HCFC-225 formulations that have already been packaged into aerosol containers prior to the cutoff date may continue to be purchased and used until supplies are exhausted.

5. What happens after January 1, 2015? Following this date, products containing HCFC-225 can manufactured indefinitely ONLY when the substance has been used, recovered and recycled.

6. How will the phase-out affect the products I use? The following chart illustrates the ban’s effect on commercial products. These may include chemicals currently used in your facility from Techspray, MicroCare, Chemtronics, MG Chemicals and more.

Products in use after 1/1/15  Made before 1/1/15           Made after 1/1/15
Blend of virgin AK-225 in aerosol  YES  NO
Pure (neat) virgin AK-225 in aerosol  YES  NO
Blend of virgin AK-225 in bulk pkg  NO  NO
Pure (neat) virgin AK-225 in bulk pkg  NO  NO
Reclaimed AK-225 in any pkg  YES  YES

7. Is there a replacement for HCFC-225? The EPA has already approved more than 300 substitutes for HCFC-225, some more viable options than others. Techspray Precision-V products offer an environmentally sound alternative with no current usage restrictions, and the Novec line from 3M contains no ozone-depleting components.

8. What about stockpiling? While currently prohibited, the EPA is considering a proposed rule that would allow consumers to use bulk or bulk blends of HCFC-225 inventoried prior to December 31, 2014 beyond the cutoff date and into 2015. A final decision has not yet been announced.

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