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US EPA pledges $15m for HFC reclaim projects

USA: The US Environmental Protection Agency has announced $15m in funding for five projects seeking innovative ways to tackle the destruction and reclamation of HFCs.

The recipients will receive the HFC Reclaim and Innovative Destruction grants – range from $1,500,000 to $3,801,100 – from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.

The selectees for this grant program are The University of Washington, Texas A&M University, Drexel University, University of California-Riverside, and the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Technology Institute.

“This diverse set of projects will tackle the destruction and reclamation of HFCs in innovative ways to help protect our climate and bolster American technologies,” said Joe Goffman, assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation.

These projects will help facilitate the phase down of HFCs under the AIM Act by helping increase the amount of HFCs that can be reclaimed and reused in the economy and by developing innovative techniques to destroy unusable HFCs, ensuring they do not contribute to climate change.

Selected Grant Applicants

The University of Washington’s project will evaluate and demonstrate a novel way to destroy HFCs via alkaline hydrolysis. The project aims to reduce the pollution emissions associated with HFC destruction since it does not release hydrogen fluoride or gaseous carbon dioxide.

Texas A&M University’s project aims to reduce the time and cost of reclaiming HFCs by designing and testing a technology capable of separating a range of HFC mixtures. It also intends to incorporate a data-driven decision framework for reverse logistics with high supply chain visibility that includes quality, cost efficiency, changing market dynamics, stakeholder collaboration, safety, and environmental regulation. 

The project intends to achieve a 30% increase in reclaimed HFC and at least a 25% reduction in cost from the baseline operation.

The aims of Philadelphia’s Drexel University project is to develop a portable and energy efficient HFC destruction device by integrating liquid injection incinerator and non-thermal gliding arc plasma, which will provide refrigerant reclamation companies with an on-site treatment option for the reduction of HFC emissions. 

University of California – Riverside’s project aims to develop scalable catalytic and assisting technologies for efficient HFC destruction, which would create a competitive and cost-effective integrated destruction system. The project intends to contribute to climate change mitigation and sustainable practices in disadvantaged communities by advancing an innovative and replicable HFC destruction technique through pilot scale demonstration.

The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Technology Institute is developing a pilot project to chemically convert and destroy mixed HFCs back into components for new commercial use. This zero-emission technique would thereby create value from the destruction process, while also lowering the costs and energy required to destroy HFCs compared to conventional incineration methods. 

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