The substitution process
An important aspect of the substitution process is to find alternatives that have sufficiently good technical performance, but which also have a proven better chemical risk profile and impact on health and the environment. We want to avoid that the alternatives that are developed show a similar or worse effect on health and the environment (regrettable substitution).
The substitution process includes these steps:
- Identify the function of PFAS in the product and define criteria for alternatives as well as level and methods for evaluating technical performance.
- Look for commercially possible alternatives and/or develop new alternatives.
- Evaluate alternatives in the form of technical performance on a lab scale.
- Check if the alternatives are regulated or are included in any list of chemicals with potential risks.
- Perform a chemical risk assessment of alternatives with respect to health and the environment during production, use, and end-of-life. Alternatives that are not approved at the level of chemical risk assessment do not go further in the evaluation.
- Alternatives that meet chemical risk assessment and technical performance go on to pilot-scale evaluation and/or evaluation with industry standards
- A hot-spot LCA is made for approved alternatives to see which steps in the process contribute the most to the environmental impact and to investigate so that the contribution for the alternatives is not greater than the substance you want to replace.
- A complete LCA is done on the most promising alternatives that you want to move on with at the end.
- If technical performance and LCA are approved, the option of exploitation is considered.
- The alternative (s) developed are scaled up and tested in a real environment before commercialization. This is where we are now in POPFREE step 3 with formulations for textile impregnation and film-forming products.