Monday, 07 June 2021
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Hi All

The highly successful 1987 UN Montreal Protocol led to countries around the world phasing out the ozone destroying CFCs which were previously used for refrigerants, foam production, and aerosol propellants.

The CFCs were replaced with HFCs which were later found to be extremely potent greenhouse gases. Consequently, in 2016, the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol called for the cutting of HFCs by 80-85% by the late 2040s. This amendment came into force in 2019.

Unfortunately, just like the CFC phase-out, it looks like we are set to replace one problem with another. A recent report by the German Environmental Agency says that the most commonly used replacement for CFCs, known as HFOs, can cause toxic groundwater and drinking water contamination and “should be replaced by more sustainable solutions with halogen-free substances” such as natural refrigerants.

Here are some links:

https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/publikationen/persistent-degradation-products-of-halogenated

http://hydrocarbons21.com/articles/10078/german_environment_agency_says_hfos_should_be_replaced_by_natrefs

https://www.nrdc.org/experts/alex-hillbrand/china-gives-cool-boost-effort-reduce-global-warming

Does anyone have any information about the viability of natural refrigerants?
more than a month ago
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#859
Thanks for the call-out on the contaminant issue. I guess it depends on the application you are talking about. HC is well used by smaller refrigeration units and Unilever and others have used it widely. CO2 is another widely used natural refrigerant which Coca-Cola and others have championed. It needs to be at higher pressure though. And Ammonia for some larger applications. All have things to be mindful of but are seen as the way to go.
So not a full answer. The group Refrigerants Naturally! can help. It includes the above and Greenpeace and others.
more than a month ago
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#873
Does anyone know if there was widespread awareness of the health issues prior to the German EPA's report?
more than a month ago
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#878
Does anyone know if there was widespread awareness of the health issues prior to the German EPA's report?


A report in 2017 advocated more research:

A report commissioned by the Norwegian Environment Agency on the environmental impact of trifluoroacetic acid or TFA – the atmospheric by-product of HFOs – recommended that a number of “knowledge gaps” needed to be addressed before TFA's ultimate effect on the environmental can be determined.


This is the report:

https://www.miljodirektoratet.no/globalassets/publikasjoner/M917/M917.pdf

Here is a news story based on that report:

https://hydrocarbons21.com/articles/8143/norwegian_report_assesses_hfos_environmental_impact
more than a month ago
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#886
more than a month ago
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#894
I hope they research this thoroughly before locking in the transition to HFOs.

Adam Thyer, Founder at GreenExecutive

more than a month ago
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#920
In a move with major implications for the European HVAC&R industry, five EU countries announced on July 15 their intention to submit a joint proposal to restrict per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS), including some HFC and HFO refrigerants, to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) under the REACH regulation by July 2022.

The five countries – Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Denmark – are seeking stakeholder feedback on their proposal.


http://hydrocarbons21.com/articles/10121/certain_hfcs_and_hfos_are_in_pfas_group_that_five_eu_countries_intend_to_restrict

Adam Thyer, Founder at GreenExecutive

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