U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Building Technologies Office
Carbon Dioxide Foaming Process for Superinsulation Research Project
The Department of Energy is currently researching the development of building superinsulation through a carbon dioxide (CO2) foaming process.
This project seeks to develop building super insulation through a carbon dioxide foaming process that does not use hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and which produces insulation with a high R-value.
Research is being undertaken between the Department of Energy and The Industrial Science & Technology Network.
The goal of this project is to develop advanced insulation without HFC, and to achieve a competitive processing cost for CO2 foaming technology. Additionally, a goal is to improve the R-value of the insulation by:
- Creating oblong pore structure
- Aligning oblate pores against the direction of heat flow
- Employing layers of reflecting surfaces to block radiation
- Constructing a secondary nanostructure within oblate pores.
Benefits and Impacts
Proper insulation can save homeowners money on both heating and cooling, which account for 50 – 70% of home energy use. The R-5/inch building insulation without HFC is expected to annually reduce global warming effects equal to ten million tons of CO2. In addition, creating and aligning oblate pore structure through a CO2 foam extrusion process is a platform technology applicable to many insulation products. This can lead to super thermal insulation property by focusing on cost-effective technology to create nanopores or a secondary nanostructure within pores.