Toledo, Ohio-based Owens Corning has developed new blowing-agent technology for its foam insulation manufacturing operations that it will use to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 70 percent and cause zero ozone depletion, according to company officials.
OC already has begun to convert its three polystyrene foam board insulation plants in North America, located in Tallmadge, Ohio; Rockford, Ill.; and Valley Field, Quebec.
The company also plans to open a 50,000-square-foot foam board facility in Gresham, Ore. - a project that was temporarily derailed in 2006 after OC pulled its application for an air quality permit.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has approved OC's air permit proposal using the new blowing agent - a proprietary blend of carbon dioxide and a hydrofluorocarbon.
The previously used blowing agent was hydrochlorofluorocarbon 142b, listed by the Environmental Protection Agency as a greenhouse gas and ozone-depleting substance.
OC is implementing the new technology in its sites. The Gresham plant is expected to be ready in 2009, OC spokesman Jason Saragian said in a March 28 telephone interview.
``Owens Corning has a sustainability organization dedicated to meeting the needs of the present without compromising the world we leave for the future,'' Saragian said. ``There are three focuses - greening our products, greening our operations and increasing energy efficiency of existing structures.
``Buildings are the largest consumer of energy and the largest emitter of greenhouse gases.''