Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) is a manmade compound used as refrigerants, aerosols, and in foam manufacture. They are chemically similar to chlorofluorocarbons and exhibit similar properties, having low boiling points which make them ideal in the foam blowing and refrigeration industry. Unlike CFCs, HCFCs are volatile and have a lower global warming potential. They are classified as VOCs and rise up to stratosphere damaging the ozone layer, though are less potent than CFC’s. HCFC’s have replaced CFC’s in many applications and are in the process of being phased out themselves. They are used in commercial refrigeration, foam blowing and residential air conditioning, and are gradually being replaced by hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs).
Under the Montreal Protocol complete phase out of HCFCs is slated for 2020 in developed countries and 2030 in emerging economies. Developed countries have already adopted or are in the process of adopting natural or less harmful artificial alternatives on a large scale, resulting in the phasing out of HCFC market in North America and Europe.
HCFC Market Taxonomy
On basis of type of HCFC
On basis of Application
On basis of foam
HCFC-22 was the most commonly used refrigerant, though it is being phased out in favor of HFC-134b. Similarly, in the foam industry, HCFC 141b and HCFC 142b are being replaced by HFC-245fa. HCFC 123 are used in centrifugal chillers and fire extinguishers, HCFC 124 in air conditioning equipment. HCFC 225ca and HCFC 225cb are used as aerosol solvents.
The largest end user is refrigeration, though due to their adverse environmental effects, the market is rapidly shifting to HFC refrigerated systems, especially in the U.S. The stationary air-conditioning includes commercial and residential spaces, while mobile air-conditioning is employed in automotive and aviation industry. The rise in disposable incomes in developing markets has led to growth in automotive market which in turn has driven the air-conditioning market.
Foam blowing market is also undergoing a shift to HFO, though large scale use is expected to take many years due to lack of large-scale manufacturing infrastructure.
HCFC Market Outlook
Major players in the blowing agents market include Honeywell International Inc, Exxon Mobil Corporation, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Harp International Ltd, Daikin Industries, Ltd., Arkema S.A., Sinochem Group, Solvay S.A., and ZEON Corporation. Furthermore, major players in the refrigeration market are The Danfoss Group, Emerson Electric Co., GEA Group AG, Johnson Controls Inc. and United Technologies Corporation.
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