HFC-Free Technology Digest Launched

by | Jul 28, 2014

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has published a report focused on HFC-free climate-friendly technologies, Putting the Freeze on HFCs: A global digest of available climate-friendly refrigeration and air-conditioning technologies.

Hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs — which have global warming potentials (GWPs) ranging from hundreds to thousands of times higher than CO2 — are the most commonly used refrigerants in refrigeration and air-conditioning systems in the US. These chemicals are also increasing in use in developing countries.

Reducing production and consumption of HFCs is the largest, fastest and most cost-effective short-term climate mitigation option currently available and will have significant effects on the planet by 2050, EIA says.

The report uses more than 100 case studies and companies to show HFC-free technologies applied throughout the developed and developing world. These technologies use hydrocarbons, CO2, air, water, ammonia and “not-in-kind” technologies (e.g., solar) instead of HFCs.

The report is also a tool for readers — including HVAC managers of office buildings and grocery stores — to find information on HFC-free technology.

The EPA has proposed banning some HFCs in a move that the agency says would reduce GHG emissions by up to 42 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2020.

The HFC proposal follows an earlier action by the EPA to expand the list of climate-friendly alternatives for refrigeration and air conditioning under its SNAP Program. It’s also part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, announced last year.

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