GE launches new cyclopentane refrigerators

GE Appliances & Lighting is adopting use of a foam-blowing agent, known as cyclopentane, that significantly reduces the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the insulating process in the manufacturing of its top-freezer refrigerators in Decatur, Ala. Using cyclopentane — a foam-blowing agent used to propel insulation into the doors and cases of refrigerators — will reduce the facility's GHG emissions from the foam-blowing process by 99 percent compared to the foam-blowing agent it replaces, according to a press release.

"GE Appliances & Lighting is looking at every aspect of environmental stewardship for our appliances — from manufacturing processes to more responsible product end-of-life management," said Paul Surowiec, general manager, refrigeration, GE Appliances & Lighting, in the release. "We also offer hundreds of ENERGY STAR-qualified models to ensure our appliances deliver efficiency and cost savings to consumers throughout the appliance's life."

By transitioning to cyclopentane as the foam-insulating agent for GE's 16-, 17- and 18-cubic-foot top-freezer refrigerators, GE's Decatur, Ala., plant will reduce GHG emissions from the foam-insulating process by more than 400,000 metric tons of CO2-equivalent annually. This is equal to the annual emissions of 78,000 cars on U.S. roads.

This reduction from replacing the previous foam-insulating agent with cyclopentane is so significant that GE will actually reduce the GHG emissions of the entire Decatur manufacturing facility by more than 80 percent. Compared to the insulator it replaces, initial tests indicate cyclopentane also increases the efficiency of the insulating foam, yielding energy efficiency improvements and cost savings for consumers.

"GE's commitment to develop and deploy solutions for today's environmental challenges is a top priority," Surowiec said in the release. "GE's transition to cyclopentane as a foam-blowing agent for top-freezer refrigerators is another great step forward in the spirit of our company's ecomagination initiative."

For more information, see our research center on Energy Efficient Appliances.

Topics: Appliances, Refrigerators

Companies: GE Appliances

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