The Race Is On To Replace Ozone-Eating CFCs. The Entrants: Corporate Giants And Upstart Startups

Catalyzed by an international agreement to freeze, and eventually to reduce usage of damaging cholorflourocarbons (CFCs)—and by DuPont Co.’s recent decision to voluntarily comply with the guidelines-the once-cool CFC research arena has transformed into a very hot race.

Scientist Michael Hayes, for example, works on the boundaries of matter, studying the reactions that occur between organic molecules. While most of his past work has been applied in the petroleum business, that has changed during the last two years.

Hayes and his team of researchers at Fernandino Beach, Fla.-based Petroferm are now busy producing a new solvent that may help save the ozone shield and turn a tidy profit for their company.

Petroferm has joined a massive worldwide research ‘effort to develop substitutes for CFCs, which have been used for everything from foaming agents to cleaning...

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