How foam is made: blowing agents

How is Foam Made?

When expanded polystyrene foam is produced, a blowing agent is used in the expansion process. Polystyrene foam products are primarily manufactured using two types of blowing agents: pentane and carbon dioxide.

Pentane has no effect on the upper ozone layer. Many foam manufacturing plants recapture and reuse a substantial portion of the pentane released in production processes as fuel.

Carbon dioxide is non-toxic and non-flammable and does not contribute to low-level smog or deplete the stratospheric ozone layer. Additionally, using carbon dioxide as a blowing agent does not increase carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

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