Energy efficiency is one of the most important requirements in the energy-hungry modern world.
Polyurethanes can make a major contribution to energy efficiency in the construction, appliance and transportation sectors.
This topic provides a major opportunity for our customers and Huntsman Polyurethanes is active in promoting the further use of polyurethane products in these sectors.
Much of the debate and requirement for energy efficiency is now centered on the climate change issue. Whilst the international discussions around the Kyoto Protocol is still in progress, there are many applications where governments are taking steps to improve energy efficiency.
A "new" factor is the reopening of the discussions about energy security and the role of energy efficiency in reducing energy consumption. This has been driven by high oil prices in 2000.
For the transportation sector, Huntsman Polyurethanes has developed a full range of MDI-based products, which offer light weight and fuel efficiency. These include systems for seating, headrests, roof-liners, floor mats and integral skin systems for steering wheels and other elastomeric applications.
In the European Union (EU), a project has been set up to ensure that building energy efficiency measures are at the forefront of measures set up to achieve the required GHG reductions. Called EuroACE, this has been established by 20 companies that manufacture insulation, lighting, glazing and controls.
EuroACE has commissioned reports which show that building energy efficiency measures, including insulation, could save over 400 million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2010 and, furthermore, that these would be very cost effective when compared to alternative measures such as renewable energy.
These proposals have resulted in building energy efficiency being highlighted in the draft EU Climate Change program and in the proposal for a Directive on Energy Efficiency.
Huntsman Polyurethanes has played a leading role in the formation of EuroACE and in achieving its goals. A Huntsman representative sits on the EuroACE management team representing the cellular plastics sector. Huntsman Polyurethanes has a full range of products for the construction industry for the insulation of buildings. These cover all the many applications.
Similarly, there is a full range of products for the global appliance market. In this market, the energy efficiency of domestic refrigerators and freezers is a key requirement, and national and international standards are being revised to improve performance.
Read more in EuroAce
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