Dow unveils new ‘green’ insulation

Published 10:54 am Friday, June 12, 2009

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — The blue of the morning sky and green of Dow Park’s lush grass were not the only shades of blue and green on display Thursday.

Blue is also the color of the STYROFOAM Extruded Polystyrene Foam Insulation produced at the Hanging Rock plant and green is the positive result a new process in making it has on the environment.

Three dozen Dow employees, along with guests and officials from both Lawrence and Scioto counties were on hand to celebrate the plant becoming the second Dow facility nationwide to produce the popular insulation under its new “green-making” process.

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The news conference included an informative speech on the benefits of properly installed STYROFOAM installation and a tree-planting ceremony.

In its presentation, Dow says the improved STYROFOAM making process is eco-friendly as the new foaming agent does not deplete the earth’s ozone layer.

Simon P. Lee, a Dow scientist who was recognized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for his contribution to the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, headed the team that created the new foaming agent.

The Hanging Rock plant is the second Dow facility to be converted fully to the new technology resulting from a January 2010 deadline set by the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty to protect the ozone layer that was adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency. A plant in Dalton, Ga. was converted in March.

“With our second conversion complete and the remaining facilities on schedule, we are following through with the commitment we made to our customers more than a year ago to develop and implement a solution well ahead of the Montreal Protocol compliance deadline,” said Mike McGaugh, vice president and general manager for Dow Building Solutions, North America.

Scott Young, global director of energy efficiency for Dow highlighted to those in attendance the benefits of reduction in carbon dioxide emissions properly installed STYROFOAM from the Hanging Rock plant could have on the environment.

Young pointed out the savings could be equivalent to planting 900 million trees, taking 110,000 cars off the road for a year, reducing vehicle travel by 1.8 trillion miles and saving approximately 90 billion gallons of gasoline.

“One tree over its lifetime can store more than one ton of carbon dioxide,” Young said.

And that single tree is exactly what Dow officials and their guests used as their example.

Following the presentation, the company planted a 7-foot blue spruce pine in an open field within the park. Employees took turns refilling the hole with dirt while protected by a large, white canopy.

It was ironic that a blue spruce was used for a day to celebrate green.

Blue spruces were considered the symbolic flagship tree for the acid rain pollution poisoning that affected much of the western United States back in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Pollution that Dow’s new process now eliminates.