Thailand to ban chemical harmful to ozone layer from use in spray foam
Thailand plans to ban the use of dichlorofluoroethane (HCFC-141b) in spray foam production by 2024 in an effort to save the ozone layer and mitigate the severe effects of global warming.
The director-general of the Department of Industrial Works (DIW), Wanchai Phanomchai, told a press conference on Friday in Bangkok that the chemical would be banned from January 1, 2024.
"During this phase-out period, the department has collaborated with the World Bank, the Government Savings Bank, and the Polyurethanes Industry Group under the Federation of Thai Industries, to assist all manufacturers with funding, materials, machines, and technologies," Wanchai explained.
This type of assistance will encourage them later on to replace HCFC-141b with a group of chemicals that do not harm the ozone, he added.
Thailand can reduce HCFC-141b use by 132 tons of ozone depletion potential, and greenhouse gas emissions by 870,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, since the country began banning HCFC-141b in 2017.
However, there is more to be done in order to be a genuine carbon-neutral nation in 2050.
Supakit Boonsiri, the department’s deputy director-general, said that the country is currently in the second phase of reducing HCFC-141b between 2020 and 2023.
Thailand has gradually reduced its use of dangerous ozone-depleting chemicals since 1995, but HCFC-141b is still used in spray foam even now.
“The DIW and our partners will collaborate to encourage involved entrepreneurs to transform themselves into clean and environmentally friendly manufacturers," Supakit said.
Meanwhile, they are encouraged to replace HCFC-141b with hydrofluoro-olefins, which are unsaturated organic compounds made up of hydrogen, fluorine, and carbon and have zero ozone depletion and low global warming potential.
Supakit also stated that the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol will provide financial assistance to both large and small manufacturers of HCFC-141b.
This protocol provides funds to assist developing countries in meeting their obligations under the protocol to phase out the use of ozone-depleting substances over a specified time period.
Wanchai said that Thailand had received financial assistance worth 62 million baht for the second phase. Two entrepreneurs have already passed the criteria, and nearly 70 more are on their way.
This determination is part of the country's strategy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by or before 2065, as pledged at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021.