Foam Recovery and Destruction Program
This page last reviewed October 25, 2011
This page provides a list of documents related to the Foam Recovery and Destruction Program.
California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB32) (PDF 110KB)
ARB Concept Paper
Reference Documents for Foam and Global Warming Issues
The following documents,
studies, and reports have been used
by the California Air Resources Board to inform decisions concerning
impact of waste insulating foam on global warming. (note: some of these
documents are quite large)
The Foam End-of-Life Issues report was produced upon request by the parties to the Montreal Protocol to provide useful information on the handling and destruction of ODS contained in thermal insulation foam, which is summarized in this report. The report focuses on economic and technological aspects of foam and foam gas destruction, but avoids analyzing recovery and collection methods for waste foam. A useful document for general background on foam issues as they relate to potential global warming.
UNEP Report of the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel May 2005, Volume 3, Report on the Task Force of Foam End-of-Life Issues (PDF 844 KB)
Researchers showed that under certain anaerobic conditions in test tubes designed to replicate a landfill, CFCs and HCFCs in waste foam can attenuate to HFCs that have lower ozone-depleting and global warming potentials.
Attenuation of Fluorocarbons Released from Foam Insulation in Landfills (PDF 238 KB) and Capacity for Biodegradation (PDF 194 KB)
A more detailed version of the landfill attenuation research report is also available: Attenuation of Alternative Blowing Agents in Landfills (PDF 2 MB - note large file)
Researchers investigated release of foam-blowing agents from appliances during the shredding process at the time of recycling. Approximately 25 percent of all blowing agent in appliance insulation is released at the time of shredding, prior to any landfilling of waste foam.
Release of Fluorocarbons from Insulation Foam in Home Appliances during Shredding (Abstract only. Website membership required for full text)
Chapter 7 of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) Safeguarding the Ozone Layer and the Global Climate System – Issues Related to Hydrofluorocarbons and Perfluorocarbons analyzes current and future uses of non-ozone-depleting substance foam blowing agents, particularly HFCs. Topics include banks and emissions of HFC-containing foam, possible usage trends, and uses in building and appliance insulation.
The full TEAP report also contains chapters on refrigeration, residential and commercial air conditioning and heating, mobile air conditioning, medical aerosols, and fire suppressants.
Researchers investigated the ability of landfill gas methane collection and combustion systems to combust or break down CFCs and HCFCs into their separate components. Destruction efficiencies greater than 90 percent were reported for CFC-11, CFC-12, and HCFC-22: Landfill Gas Combustion Study, Calgary Canada (PDF 314 KB).