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?
one week 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.
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