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LIFE Energ-Ice Project

The household sector is one of the largest users of electrical energy in the European Economic Area, consuming 29% of total electrical energy.

Cold appliances (refrigerators and freezers) account for 9-25% of household energy consumption. The Directive 2006/32/EC on energy end-use efficiency and energy services acknowledges the vast potential for energy reduction and requires Member States to draw up National Action Plans (NAPs) to achieve a minimum of 9% final (end-use) energy savings from 2008-2016 on almost all energy use, including home use. The cold appliance sector has potential for additional carbon footprint reduction. Many blowing agents commonly used in the manufacturing of polyurethane foams used for the insulating structure of cold appliances still have a ozone depletion potential and a significant global warming potential.

The ENERG-ICE project - started on January 1, 2010, with an anticipated conclusion by March 31, 2013 - focuses on reducing the environmental impact of energy-using products, such as cold appliances, by taking action at the design stage, where the pollution caused during the product's life cycle can be best prevented. The project will showcase an innovative polyurethane foaming technology for manufacturing the insulation filling of cold appliances (refrigerators and freezers) using cyclopentane as a blowing agent.

The overall objectives of the project are to demonstrate that:

  • A new technology employing a hydrocarbons blowing agent can be used in Europe to improve the insulation properties of PU foams for cold appliances in a more cost-efficient way; 
  • The manufacturing of cold appliances, including the impact of end-use disposal on the environment can be much more environmentally friendly and sustainable than standard processes; 
  • The new technology will give scope for defining new standards for hydrocarbon blown foams with improved insulation properties superior to those employed today and giving current A/A+/A++ labelling; and 
  • Energy consumption of cold appliances in Europe can be reduced by 10% with respect to the best-available appliances produced today with a positive impact on the European and worldwide market.

Project Partners with Federchimica are: Dow Italia, AFROS (Cannon Group) and CRIOS (Cannon Group).

More details about this project will be available soon.

LIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU, as well as in some candidate, acceding and neighbouring countries. Since 1992, LIFE has co-financed some 3115 projects, contributing approximately € 2 billion to the protection of the environment. Read more

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Brochure Energ-Ice

Poster Energ-Ice