3M Novec 1230 Fluid Fire Wire – Summer 2021

3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fluid Fire Wire – Summer 2021

Fire Wire is a quarterly fire suppression newsletter about 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid for specifying engineers, architects, and anyone working in special hazards fire protection.

A brief primer on the AIM Act and how it is phasing down HFCs in the U.S.

  • The American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law in December 2020. It “directs the EPA to address HFCs by providing new authorities in three main areas: to phase down the manufacturing and consumption of listed HFCs, manage these HFCs and their substitutes, and facilitate the transition to next-generation technologies.”

How will the HFC phase down work?

  • The act’s statutory target (HR 133, p.1080 (PDF, 4.78 MB)) is an 85% phase down of annual HFC production and consumption by 2036, as compared to a 2011-2013 baseline. The phase down starts in January 2022 with a 10% phase down, then goes to 40% in 2024, 70% in 2029, and 80% in 2034 before reaching the final 85% phase down in 2036.

    The EPA published a draft of its proposed rule for implementing the phase down in the Federal Register on May 19, 2021. The comment period closed on July 6, 2021, and the agency plans to finalize the rule later in 2021.

    Under the currently proposed rule, by October 1 of each year (starting October 1, 2021), the EPA will issue production and consumption allowances for the following year, up to the total allowed by the phase down schedule. These allowances will be based on past production and consumption, and there will be a method for trading allowances. Six applications will get specific allowances within the broader phase down, including mission-critical military uses and on-board aerospace fire suppression. In these applications, the full quantity needed will be allocated until 2027, after which they will follow the normal phase down.

Does the proposed rule affect fire suppression?

  • Yes. Industries that are specifically mentioned by the EPA in the draft rule include refrigeration and air conditioning, foam blowing agents, aerosols, solvents, and fire suppression. In addition, the AIM Act lists specific HFCs that are commonly used in fire suppression, including HFC-227ea, HFC-125, HFC-236fa and HFC-23.

    3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid, with a Global Warming Potential (GWP) < 1, is an effective HFC alternative supporting the global fire suppression industry. Learn more about Novec 1230 fluid on our web page or join one of our upcoming webinars. For more about the EPA’s phasedown rulemaking and HFC reduction programs, visit the EPA website.

Upcoming webinars on power generation, marine fire suppression and more

Join us for the 3M fire suppression remote learning webinar series, covering a broad range of industry applications and solutions for clean agent fire suppression. This summer, we have three new webinars coming up, all with continuing education certification from the American Institute of Architects. Register for them at the links below, or bookmark our webinar hub to keep up to date on the latest online training news:

Fact or Fiction: NFPA fire suppression standards set the same performance requirements for each agent

  • Purple megaphone icons facing in opposite directions one titled fact one titled fiction

    Fiction. NFPA standards provide a consistent set of rules for each individual category of agents, but there are different expectations between categories. Some standards set a specific maximum time for the agent to reach design concentration and some do not. Some require specific margins of safety or other properties like non-conductivity, and others do not.

    In addition, some standards do not require specific extinguishing performance at all. For example, NFPA 750: Standard on Water Mist Fire Protection Systems states that “each system must be evaluated on a performance basis for controlling, suppressing, or extinguishing a fire.” Manufacturers are free to provide proof of performance for particular applications and fire types, but the standard allows anything from control to extinguishment.

    Thus, it’s important to read each standard and review the requirements for each type of agent and system accordingly – knowledge from one does not necessarily apply to the others.

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