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CPVC's Environmental Impact

Posted by TempRite® Engineered Materials North America Team on 01/21/2021

TempRite® Engineered Materials’ commitment to sustainability and a reduction in adverse environmental effects and byproducts dates back to the early pioneering of CPVC. Today, CPVC resins are boosting manufacturers environmental credentials thanks to its inherent benefits:

  • CPVC requires less energy to produce than many alternatives
  • Reduced toxicity of combustion byproducts
  • Recyclability both at manufacturing stage and at the end of the product’s life cycle

Assessing CPVC vs Metal's Environmental Impact

An ISO compliant, independent life cycle assessment (LCA) was conducted, in order to assess the environmental impact of TempRite CPVC against metal and cross-linked polyethylene.

In all environmental categories bar one, CPVC outperforms both metal and cross-linked polyethylene:

✔ Metal depletion - Consumption of industrial metals is less rapid in CPVC processing.

✔ Fossil depletion - CPVC is 67% chlorine from salt mines and therefore requires less fossil depletion in order to manufacture.

✔ Terrestrial acidification - Mining produces acids, burns energy and creates waste. Metal depends heavily on this.

✔ Freshwater eutrophication - Aquatic ecosystems are less affected by CPVC.

✔ Climate change - CPVC makes less of a contribution to the conditions of our climate.

✔ Human toxicity - In the assessment of potential harm to human health, this was among the highest performing categories for CPVC over metal.

✔ Freshwater ecotoxicity - This too was among the highest performing categories, as CPVC’s impact on freshwater ecosystems is significantly less than metal.

✔ Photochemical oxidation - Secondary pollution from emissions is a higher threat in metal processing.

✔ Terrestrial ecotoxicity - CPVC outperformed metal in the analysis of effects on organisms in soil and plants.

✔ Water depletion - Metal processing requires a lot of water, producing much wastage.

✔ Energy consumption - This was both non-renewable and renewable energy gas.

The only area where CPVC did not outperform was ozone depletion, a category in which all products had a negligible impact.

Another study looking at energy requirements for extruded tubes made from PVC, Polyethylene, CPVC, ABS (acrylonitrile-budadiene-styrene) and crosslinked-polyethylene found that on a per pound basis, CPVC had the second lowest input energy behind only standard grade PVC. 

Environmental Benefits of CPVC

Service life - Much plastic manufacturing goes into producing products that have a functional, but short shelf life; for example, the production of plastic bags and packaging. TempRite CPVC resins are engineered for a longer life cycle. In most cases, CPVC products are engineered for decades of use. 

Recyclability - CPVC can be recycled and reworked; in fact, CPVC manufacturers recycle as they produce it, adding cutoffs back into the manufacturing process for prolonged production and minimal waste.

Lightweight - Compared to both traditional metals, CPVC is much lighter and therefore easier to transport. Installation of a metal structure would require a lot more energy, both to the site and on site. 

Corrosion Resistant - Metals frequently require the use of additional coatings and paints to protect the material below. CPVC is naturally corrosion resistant, requiring no paint or coatings, eliminating the need for additional environmental impact.

Inherently insulating - Metal naturally conducts and loses a lot of heat.  This results in energy wastage, and requires the use of insulating materials to minimize the energy loss.  CPVC is naturally insulative, often eliminating the need for additional insulating materials which carry additional environmental impacts.

Contact us to talk to a TempRite Engineered Materials expert about keeping your products sustainable for decades of superior performance.