Historically, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which are used as refrigerants and halons, used in fire extinguishers, that are now known to be ozone depleting substances (ODS), were in widespread use both in households and commercial premises for refrigeration, air conditioning, and in household, commercial and industrial fire-fighting applications. The modern Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (SGG) replacements for ODS have been found to have global warming characteristics.
The involvement of these substances in the partial destruction of the ozone layer came to the forefront of public awareness in the 1980's. This culminated in the formation in 1987 of a treaty named The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. This treaty focused on reduction and elimination of ODS. Most nations, including Australia, are signatories to this agreement and under its terms Australia has prohibited the venting of such substances to the atmosphere, along with a ban on further importation and production.
More recently the Kyoto Protocol recognised the significance of SGG as global warming gasses which are now also regulated in the same legislation as ODS under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989.
Since 1996, our team have been safely destroying both refrigerant and halon gases using the PLASCON high temperature plasma process.
Toxfree receives the halon gases from the Australian National Halon Bank and from abroad. Used or waste refrigerant gasses are received in conjunction with the successful Refrigerant Reclaim Australia and Refrigerant Recovery New Zealand product stewardship schemes, for destruction by Toxfree. Toxfree also provides ODS and SGG destruction services to other clients.
During the period since 1996, over 1,000 tons of halon gasses and over 3,00,000 tons of used refrigerants, have been destroyed by our facility. Currently the Plascon facility destroys over 450 tons of ODS and SGG per year.
The Plascon process is world's best practice for the destruction of CFC's, HCFC's, HFC's, PFC's and SF6 as well as halon gases. These are recognised as ODS and SGG substances which must be controlled and destroyed at end of life.