For now we need HFCs
Find out why below
Because of their GHG impact, the EU has committed to phase down HFCs through a managed quota system within the F-gas regulation, which entered into force in 2015.
By 2030, nearly 80% less HFCs will be permitted for use in Europe.
But for now, we still need them.
HFCs are not flammable, not toxic, not ozone depleting, energy efficient, and have a wide range of thermodynamic properties that allow applications tailored to various climate and thermal conditions.
This is not the first time the industry has made a massive refrigerant transformation.
HFCs were developed as alternatives to chloroflourocarbons (CFCs), ozone-depleting substances that have been phased out since 1996 under the Montreal Protocol.
HFCs solved the problem of ozone-depletion, but on average have a high Global Warming Potential (GWP).
Newer HFCs and the next generation of refrigerants, called hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs), have lower GWP.
But the progress towards greener refrigerants will be equipment specific.
Some equipment, such as automotive air-conditioning systems, have used HFOs in Europe since 2017.
Others, such as industrial cooling systems, will take much longer to adapt because of the relatively long equipment lifespan. Throwing out well-functioning equipment also doesn’t help progress towards climate goals.
However, illegal HFCs are finding their way back, eroding the progress towards lower GWP refrigerants.
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