Before I start posting news from BASF, Lanxess, Segetis, Elevance, OPXBio, Myriant, Rivertop Renewables (and the list goes on and on...), here's an interesting development from GE Appliances & Lighting, which became the first appliance manufacturer to partner with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in their Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) program.
According to GE, 9m refrigerators are disposed in the US annually and only a fraction has the insulating foam in their walls and doors recycled. Under the RAD Program, GE will supply used appliance volume to the Appliance Recycling Centers of America (ARCA), where the organization will also recover 95% of the insulating foam in refrigerators.
GE and ARCA plans to vastly improve appliance recycling and refrigerator foam recovery in the US given that the the US appliance recycling industry is said to be very fragmented. ARCA expects to open and start its regional recycling center in Pennsylvania in the first quarter of 2011.
In terms of recycling and foam recovery, ARCA will use technology from UNTHA Recycling Technology (URT). The company's recycling system includes capability to automatically capture blowing agents such as chorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and cyclopentane from the insulating foam in refrigerators and freezers.
"The potential of this technology is tremendous," said Brian Conners, President and COO of ARCA Advanced Processing. "If the foam from the 9 million refrigerators disposed of annually in the U.S. were processed through this recycling technology, the greenhouse gas emissions avoided would be equivalent to the annual CO2-e emissions of more than 2.4 million cars on U.S. roads."