USA: New initiatives on reducing the consumption of HFC refrigerants are expected save the emission of more than 1 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2025.
The figures were revealed during a meeting at the White House today attended by US government agencies and leading refrigeration and air conditioning manufacturers, refrigerant suppliers and end users.
The meeting included representatives from Chemours, Daikin, Danfoss, Honeywell, Johnson Controls, HillPhoenix, Ingersoll Rand, Carrier, Arkema, Emerson and AHRI, as well as major retailers and end users including CocaCola and PepsiCo.
Those gathered heard the US Environmental Protection Agency confirm its intention to initiate further changes to its Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) programme next year, as well as promising a new rule that would improve the way refrigerant is sold, handled, recovered, and recycled.
EPA to target more high GWP refrigerants
Following on from changes made to the SNAP listing in July, the EPA said it would make further moves to de-list certain high global warming potential HFCs where safer alternatives are available and approve several new climate-friendly alternatives for a variety of industry applications.
EPA administrator Gina McCarthy also told the meeting that a new rule governing refrigerant sales, handling, recovery, and recycling would strengthen the existing refrigerant handling requirements and apply those rules HFCs.
“EPA is working closely with industry leaders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, transition to climate-friendly refrigerants, and deploy advanced refrigeration technologies,” said EPA administrator Gina McCarthy. “The powerful combination of EPA’s regulatory actions and innovations emerging from the private sector have put our country on track to significantly cut HFC use and deliver on the goals of the President’s Climate Action Plan.”
Controls on HFC23
In other announcements, Chemours and fellow refrigerant producers Daikin, Honeywell and Arkema also announced strict controls to eliminate by-product emissions of HFC23 at its fluorochemical production facilities worldwide. Possessing a huge GWP of around 12,000, HFC23 is used in a number of industrial applications and is a by-product of the manufacture of R22.
Danfoss announced a multi-million dollar investment in a state-of-the-art application development and testing centre in North America, aimed at providing performance and safety testing of new equipment using low-GWP refrigerants. The centre is scheduled to come online next year and will accommodate equipment sizes up to 150TR.
Refrigeration systems designer and manufacturer Hillphoenix says it is about to launch a CO2 booster system that is intended for stores with a smaller footprint. In addition, it announced that it has completed its second commercial installation of an ammonia/CO2 cascade system for use in supermarket applications. Based on its successful installation of the first two CO2 ice rinks in Anchorage, Alaska, Hillphoenix is also planning for the future introduction of this CO2 booster system technology, contingent on EPA approval of CO2 as a refrigerant in ice rink applications.
In addition to its recent announcement stating its intention to extend sales of its trailers and trucks using lower GWP refrigerant R452A to North America, Ingersoll Rand says that by the end of 2018 it will also offer US customers its Trane high-performance chillers using low-GWP refrigerant alternatives that are already available in Europe. These include the refrigerants R1233zd(E) and R513A and depend upon their acceptance for SNAP listing.
Johnson Controls told the meeting that it intended to expand the availability of high-efficiency, low-GWP refrigerant options in its commercial air conditioning and industrial refrigeration product portfolio; offer new equipment that can be readily retrofitted; and develop aftermarket retrofit services for customers that want to convert their existing equipment to low-GWP refrigerants.
The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy is to work with the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), ACCA – The Indoor Environment and Energy Efficiency Association, Heating, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) and EOS Climate to develop and implement a reclaimed HFC credit bank that can be a component of the Global Refrigerant Management Initiative (GRMI) that was announced at the 2014 Climate Summit.
GRMI is developing initiatives aimed at reducing global HFC emissions by 30-50% within 10 years. The Reclaimed HFC Credit Bank aims to utilise an HFC reclaim protocol under the American Carbon Registry to provide certified carbon credits for reclaimed HFC material. The goal is to implement a market mechanism that allows building owners, manufacturers, and industry participants to expand the use of reclaimed HFCs. There will be a pilot project in 2016, with full implementation in the U.S. in 2017.
The US Department of Defence (DoD) is to adopt new technologies to significantly reduce refrigerant greenhouse gas emissions in the Navy’s newest flight of DDG 51 class destroyers and newest amphibious transport dock ships. Following on from its first CO2 refrigeration installation in its commissary in San Antonio this year, the DoD is to install transcritical CO2 refrigeration systems in three more US commissaries next year. It has also committed to converting refrigeration systems at European commissaries to low-GWP refrigerants by 2022. This builds on a prototype low-GWP refrigeration project already being carried out at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany.
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