Global demand for fluorochemicals is forecast to rise 2.7 percent per year to 3.1 million metric tons in 2013, according to a study by The Freedonia Group (www.freedoniagroup.com), titled World Fluorochemicals. Gains will be driven by healthy increases in the production of refrigeration and cooling equipment, boosting demand for fluorocarbon refrigerants, particularly in the developing world.

The 2007 adjustment to the Montreal Protocol has accelerated the start of HCFC (hydrochlorofluorocarbons) phaseout in developing countries, such as China and India. This, in turn, will drive strong advances in demand for HCFs, in the developing world, according to Freedonia. However, the report notes that HCFs themselves are beginning to come under increasingly stringent restrictions for their global warming potential, particularly in Western Europe.

In the short-term, HCFs figure to benefit from strong growth in the electronics sector, as well as a rising need for high-performance materials in chemical processing and motor vehicle applications.