A New Generation of Building Insulation by Foaming Polymer Blend Materials with CO2

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ISTN extruded polystyrene (XPS) board produced in factory demonstration

ISTN extruded polystyrene (XPS) board produced in factory demonstration

Lead Performer: Industrial Science & Technology Network - Lancaster, PA
DOE Funding: $400,000
Cost Share: $80,000
Project Term: 1/1/2014 - 12/31/2015
Funding Opportunity Announcement: Building Technologies Innovations Program 2013 (DE-FOA-0000823)

Project Objective

This project aims to develop an environmentally clean, cost-effective building insulation with superior performance (R-9 to R-10 per inch) compared to existing insulation technologies available on the market. Instead of hydroflurocarbon,  it uses carbon dioxide as the blowing agent. This technology represents a highly valuable market opportunity given its ability to achieve maximum energy savings (at equal or lower cost) across a variety of thermal insulating applications, such as building foundations and walls, and refrigeration and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning applications.

The specific aims of this project are:

  1. Developing advanced material composites with pore morphology control and CO2 foaming to achieve R-6 per inch foam building insulation at competitive costs;
  2. Incorporating nanotechnology structures and materials that will significantly improve upon R-6 by reaching foam insulation values of R-9 to R-10 per inch at the pilot scale in two years (at competitive manufacturing costs), and subsequently commercializing this new product in the building materials market with an industrial and/or venture-capital partner from years 3 to 5.

Project Impact

The Industrial Science & Technology Network (ISTN)  estimates that the commercialization of this technology would reduce U.S. energy consumption related to building envelope components by 7%, which equates to an annual U.S. energy savings of 0.361 quads, or $8 billion in annual economic savings.


DOE Technology Manager: Karma Sawyer
Performer: Arthur Yang, Industrial Science & Technology Network

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