The countdown is on to the nPB ban!
Sunset date 4th July 2020!
Propyl Bromide (nPB) is also known as solvent 1-bromopropane, and often as trade names Ensolv or Leksol. It is a solvent commonly used in the cleaning and degreasing process for the aerospace, precision engineering, medical, optical and electronic industries.
nPB is registered as a Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) under REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals), which regulates the supply and use of chemicals in Europe.
SVHC are substances can have serious consequences; in this case, ‘toxic for reproduction’ and as such nPB has been placed on Annex XIV whereby companies have to seek authorisation for usage from the EC.
After 4 July 2020 the use of nPB is banned, unless you have been granted an exemption by January 2019. Please note: all exemptions are only granted for short periods of time, therefore replacements will still need to be sourced.
Choose Fraser Technologies to help switch from nPB
With over 50 years experience in the sector, we are uniquely qualified to offer a one-stop solution
- evaluate your needs
- supply replacement chemistries
- support throughout and after sales
We work closely with our customers to ensure that the correct chemistry is specified for individual needs. Before making any recommendations, we undertake a full audit and survey of existing equipment to make sure any switch of solvents will be viable and effective. If new machinery is also required, we can supply and install this alongside the most appropriate chemistry.
Act now to beat the ban
Most users of nPB already have access to a suitable and safer alternative, so will not be granted authorisation for its continued use. Avoid the scramble of users looking for an alternative, and switch away from nPB now.
The process of switching can be lengthy – requiring a complete audit of cleaning processes and equipment, testing of alternatives, and of course delivery and installation. So make sure there’s sufficient time in the schedule to be compliant before 4th July 2020.
Eco-friendly solutions are available now
Fraser Technologies is fully aware of all existing and forthcoming legislation and is able to offer the safest, most efficient and cost effective cleaning solutions available today.
Whether solvent or aqueous cleaning processes are in place, we offer a wide range of equipment and chemistries that are fully compliant, so that one harmful substance is not replaced with another!
The newest product in our portfolio is Opteon™ SF80 from Chemours – a specialty fluid designed to meet the high specifications and demands of the industrial cleaning market. It is a safe, non-flammable, and environmentally friendly solvent with no ozone depletion potential, an ultra-low global warming potential (<2.5), and does not contain any products regulated under F-gas regulations. SF80 is an effective replacement for nPB, TCE, HCFCs, PFCs, HFCs and HFEs solvents, and is becoming known as the leader within a variety of cleaning applications such as vapour degreasing, oil and grease removal, precision cleaning, high solvency defluxing, and silicone removal, amongst many other uses.
Not only is SF80 safer than nPB, it also has the lowest Global Warming Potential (GWP)* and the highest KB (Kauri-butanol) value of any fluorinated solvent on the market by a significant margin. On average, competitors’ new generation products have a GWP of around 40, while SF80 has a GWP of less than 2.5.
* GWP (Global Warming Potential) was developed to allow comparison of the global warming impacts of different gases. Specifically it measures how much energy the emission of a gas will absorb, relative to CO2 over a specified period. The larger the GWP the more that a given gas warms the Earth compared to CO2. 1kg of CO2 = GWP of 1.
Key considerations in replacing nPB
Don't replace one harmful substance with another
There are similar alternative substances such as Perchloroethylen (PERC, PCE, or tetrachloroethylene) and Methylene Chloride (MECL, dichloromethane or methylene dichloride), which don’t yet have a sunset date, but have been identified by REACH as hazardous, and will be phased out in the future. Aside from the risk to employees and the environment, choosing an option like this is likely to cost the business more in the long run as a second switch will soon be required.
Comply with F-gas regulations
Regulations around the use of F-gases (also known as fluorinated gases) have become increasingly stringent over the last few years. F-gases can be present in solvents, and have a very high Global Warming Potential (GWP)*. Current Regulation limits how much F-gas can be sold in Europe and bans the use of F-gases in new equipment where alternatives with a lower GWP are widely available.
Don't get left behind
4th July 2020 may sound far away, but factor in the time required for a full chemistry and equipment audit, conducting trials of new chemistries and perhaps delivery of new equipment. New machinery can have a lead time of up to 6 months, and this can become longer during periods of high demand.
Under REACH regulations, users of enclosed cleaning systems had to cease use of Trike as a cleaning solvent by the sunset date of 21 April 2016. Many competitor solvents were sold as simple replacement chemistries as the deadline loomed – but now it’s time to reconsider given the advance of safe, powerful and eco-friendly new generation solvents now available.
F-gas restrictions & new regulations
F-gases are much more prevalent in the cleaning industry than buyers are aware, often present in old generation solvents used across a wide range of industry sectors. The high Global Warming Potential of these gases means their use is severely restricted throughout Europe, with usage in certain applications a criminal offence.