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Chemours has launched a project to significantly reduce emissions of HFC23 at its Louisville, Kentucky manufacturing site.

HFC23 is a unique HFC that is commercialised for critical low-volume applications such as ultra-low temperature refrigerants for vaccines, medical utilisation, and semiconductor manufacturing.

It is also produced as a byproduct from the manufacture of the ozone-depleting HCFC refrigerant R22. It has a huge GWP of 14,800. 

Chemours’ plans include the design, custom-building and installation of proprietary technology to capture at least 99 per cent of HFC23 process emissions from the site. 

Chemours Advanced Performance Materials’ operations vice-president, Tim Byrd, said the site currently captures a majority of HFC23 process emissions.

The custom manufacturing and installation of the multiple components needed for the proprietary system are expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) claims this latest announcement comes more than five years after a nearly identical commitment the company made to the Obama Administration in 2015 to “control, and to the extent feasible, eliminate by-product emissions of HFC-23” at their production facilities worldwide. 

EIA’s climate campaign lead, Avipsa Mahapatra, said if Chemours is incapable of running this facility responsibly, it must immediately cease operations.

As well as calling for a cessation of activities that lead to the release of HFC23, the EIA has called on Chemours to restore the damage done by taking responsibility for the lifecycle climate impacts of their chemicals from cradle to grave.

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