For some time, the topic around PFAS (per- and polyfluorinated alkyl compounds) has been attracting high media presence, involving the prohibition of more than 10,000 substances on European level. The current draft stipulates, in addition to the toxic and highly volatile substances, the prohibition of products which have become an integral part of our daily lives and the industry.
Specifically, according to the current draft law, this would affect fluoroplastics such as PVDF, E-CTFE, PFA or PTFE. Without these materials, the production of modern, durable components in future technologies, such as for electromobility, is not possible. Approx. 5 kg of PVDF are currently processed in an electric car battery.
Here at Röchling, we are conscientiously dealing with this topic, and can say that at least 95% of our products are free from PFAS!
PFAS comprise all fluorinated substances, which have at least one fluorinated methyl or methylene group. To be able to understand the classification of fluoropolymers within the PFAS compounds, a categorisation of these is shown in the following illustration:
Fluoroplastics such as PTFE, PVDF or ECTFE are also part of this group, as they correspond to the above definition of PFAS. Fluoropolymers fundamentally differ from critical or harmful PFAS, as they cannot penetrate human cells due to their high molecular mass, and are thus not part of the CMR substances. On the contrary, due to their physiological harmlessness, these plastics have become an essential part in the medical and foodstuff industry.
Regulations currently met by Röchling
We meet the current REACh regulation
EU Regulation 1907/2006
The REACH regulation is a regulation of the European Union, which was issued to improve the protection of human health and the environment against risks which can be caused by chemicals, and to increase the competitivenss of the chemical industry in the EU at the same time. It also proposes alternative methods for the hazard assessment of substances to decrease the number of animal tests.
Some PFAS are already regulated by law in the REACh Regulation, for example, the PFOA is included in the SVHC list.
The POP Regulation (EU) regulates provisions for the production, putting into circulation, the use and release of persistent organic pollutants, as these substances are resistant and non-degradable. Part of these resistant and non-degradable substances are now also certain PFAS, e.g., perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), their salts and related compounds.
Checks the processes when purchasing raw materials.
Complies with the respective regulations.
Checks whether there are new limit values.
Creates and checks the requested risk assessments.
Creates and checks the requested operating instructions.
Creates training concepts for the processing and finishing of fluoroplastics.
Introduction of further process steps to be able to respond to changes.
Checking whether PFAS may be used in other processes/substances.
"RöchlingIndustrial Group is a future-oriented company operating worldwide. We are actively working on ensuring our vision of a sustainable and cross-generational environment. This becomes apparent through a number of projects with regard to sustainability, careful use of resources, handling of hazardous substances and much more. The implementation and responsible conduct in accordance with standards and legislation, actively working together as well as mutual understanding is in our view the foundation for a reduction in environmental pollution, thus ensuring the future of the next generations. Not least, the use of durable fluoroplastics contributes to the conservation of limited resources and the promotion of future technologies."