After years of research and regulatory reviews involving numerous federal agencies, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, through its SNAP process, approved in July 2015 the commercialization of the new molecule from Chemours (ex-DuPont) optimized for critical cleaning. With this approval, the new material now can be offered for sale in almost every country in the world.
The specific molecule is “methoxytridecafluoroheptene” (MPHE). It will be marketed under the trade name Vertrel® Sion™ by Chemours. MicroCare is the authorized source for Chemours fluids in many parts of the world. MicroCare made the first commercial shipments of drums and pails of Vertrel® Sion™ fluids to customers in the U.S. this month.
Tom Tattersall, MicroCare Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, sees this as a breakthrough. “We’re thrilled that the last regulatory hurdle finally has been cleared. Vertrel® Sion™ fluids will help companies clean better, faster, less expensively and with the lowest GWP environmental profile than any current technology. We are confident it will become the preferred replacement chemistry for nPB, TCE, HCFCs and high cost HFE precision cleaners.”
Nonflammable MPHE is in the HFO family of chemistries. This new fluid is approved for use in vapor degreasers, in aerosol dispensers and in adhesive applications. In terms of cleaning performance and handling, it replaces trichloroethylene, perchloroethylene, n-propyl bromide (nPB), HCFC-225, alcohol, acetone, MEK and other fluids where maximum cleaning power is needed.
The chemistry is very safe for people and has been assigned a recommended exposure limit of 200.22 Environmentally, it has an ozone impact of zero and a global warming impact (GWP) less than 15.
“The first product we will be shipping is an extra-strength degreaser,” explains David Ferguson, MicroCare Product Manager for Precision Cleaning Products. “Long-term we will tailor the formulations, add new capabilities, package it in aerosols, and adapt this molecule for a variety of critical cleaning chores. It’s versatile, it works great, it’s safe and it’s extremely economical.”
MicroCare plans a tightly structured roll-out of the new product in early 2016. For more than two years the company has performed extensive beta-testing of the chemistry and is “extremely confident” of the molecule’s behavior and performance. “We’re not going to blanket the world with it, not yet,” Mr. Ferguson adds. “We’re introducing it in a very controlled schedule so we can provide full technical support to each customer”