Products & Applications

Shepherd Chemical Limits Environmental Impact of HFCs

World leaders and scientific experts met in Rwanda last week and agreed to limit the fastest-growing greenhouse gases on the planet (called hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs). This amendment to the Montreal Protocol has been called an historic, monumental step in the right direction for climate change. And we at Shepherd Chemical are proud to be moving our planet in the right direction through our latest innovation.

So how is Shepherd Chemical playing a role in reducing the world’s HFCs?

Tom Shepherd of Shepherd Chemical Company

Our R&D team recently designed two, non-toxic bismuth catalysts (BiCAT 8840 and BiCAT 8842) that are compatible with hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs), the greener, more energy-efficient alternative to HFCs. Our innovative new catalysts solve a current problem in the polyurethane industry:  New HFOs require metal catalysts in order to achieve high performance, and many metal catalysts (like mercury, lead, and organotin) are toxic to humans and the environment.

By designing non-toxic, HFO-compatible bismuth catalysts, we are directly supporting the polyurethane industry’s movement away from HFCs and towards HFOs, saving the CO2 emissions equivalent of taking more than 19 million cars off the road. Thanks to our new bismuth catalysts, the polyurethane products that touch our lives everyday (like refrigerators, mattresses, home insulation, and even sneakers) will be more energy-efficient and less toxic to our health and the environment.

BiCATsTM 8840 and 8842 have the lowest free acidity and VOC levels of any bismuth-based polyurethane curative. Compared to organotins, they have 50% lower VOC levels and much less toxicity—making them safer for our employees, our communities, and the planet.

That’s why the American Chemistry Council awarded us with the prestigious 2016 Polyurethane Innovation Award.

To learn more about our award-winning bismuth catalysts for polyurethane formulations, watch our video:

The Shepherd Chemical Company’s new, HFO-compatible bismuth catalysts feature negligible toxicity, very low levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), long shelf-lives, high reactivity, fast cure rates and the water-solubility needed for many spray foam formulations.