An eastern Iowa plant will become the first in the country to manufacture refrigerators with a new type of insulation that produces dramatically lower greenhouse gas emissions. Joseph Liotine is the president of U.S. Operations at Whirlpool.
He says the company will incorporate the technology in plants throughout the country, starting with the plant in Amana. “It’s going to start in this facility first, we’ll do one of three major manufacturing lines, so a third of the volume out of the plant will be transitioned or already has been,” Liotine said.
All Whirlpool refrigerators and freezers sold in the U.S. will incorporate the technology by the end of the year, according to Liotine. The new insulation is blown into appliances the way insulation is blown into a wall. The chemicals have been in development by Honeywell Corporation for a decade, according to director Sanjeev Rastogi. “It’s very similar to developing a new pharmaceutical molecule. You start with a lot of candidates and then you narrow it down. The ability to produce it in large scale is a big factor, because it has to be affordable at the end,” Rastogi said.
The new type of insulation is called Solstice LBA. Rastogi claims the technology’s impact on global warming will be like taking 400,000 cars off the road.