Low- and Zero- VOCs Environmental Impact
Millions upon millions of gallons of paint and coatings when they dry are all admitting VOCs that deplete the ozone layer. So reducing the amount of VOCs or grams per liter largely impacts the amount of pollution emitted and the amount of a company’s carbon footprint put on the planet.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are liquids that can evaporate and have a carbon molecule. VOCs are emitted into the air as a gas naturally or chemically (man-made). In the Paint and Coatings Industry VOCs are emitted into the air as a gas when the paint and/or coating begin to dry after applied to architectural surfaces.
Companies in the Paint and Coatings Industry are hard pressed by environmental regulations to manufacture products with low- and zero- VOCs. The regulated amount of VOCs expressed in paint and coatings in California is 50 grams per liter. California is the state in the USA that sets the precedent for environmental regulations. Other states in the USA have been adopting the regulation of 50 grams per liter of VOCs in paint and coatings.
As the VOCs level or grams per liter of VOCs keeps reducing it brings on challenges to manufacture low- and zero- VOC products that perform as well as products that do have some VOCs. Some manufacturers are producing products with zero VOCs in paint and coatings, but they don’t work in every industry and in every application. So that is a challenge and a driving force in the Paint and Coatings Industry because of a lot of emphasis put on the prospect of global warming.
Gellner Industrial, LLC faces challenges in manufacturing water based acrylic polymers and resins that need to meet the environmental regulations as well as the needs of our customers that manufacture paint and coatings. Despite these challenges Gellner Industrial is able to comply with regulations and exceed the expectations of our customers.
For low- and zero- VOCs water based acrylic polymers and resins that Gellner Industrial manufactures the challenge faced is finding raw materials for manufacturing. The raw materials must substitute the VOC and try to match the performance of a paint and coating.
The solvent or VOCs can aid the finished product in a number of areas. Freeze-thaw stability, film formation, open time, flow, leveling and gloss. For example it is not as simple as taking out glycols and replacing them with Wonderwet IV. The entire paint or coating formula has to be revised. A vast amount of Wonderwet IV would have to be added to have freeze-thaw stability; so this is not an option. Wonderwet will help open time, flow, leveling, and gloss. It will not aid in film formation. Other components or other polymers in the paint have to be designed to give good film formation without compromising block resistance. Wonderwet IV will help with block resistance.
The niche market of manufactured products that are low- and zero – VOC has been spearheaded by the evidence put forth regarding global warming. Paint and coatings manufacturing companies implement initiatives to comply by meeting the environmental regulations, be conscientious of their impact on the environment, become environmentally friendly, and be seen by the public as a “green” company.