Recycling HFCs ‘Can Eliminate Billions of Tons of GHGs’

by | Apr 29, 2015

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If 30 percent of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) refrigerants are reclaimed for re-use by 2040, approximately 18 billion metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent would be prevented from reaching the atmosphere over the next 25 years, according to a white paper released by EOS Climate.

HFCs are powerful greenhouse gases when released to the atmosphere. Pound for pound, HFCs have global warming potentials hundreds to thousands times higher than CO2.

The US, with support from a number of countries, has proposed a gradual phasedown of HFC production, but any production phasedown would not address HFC refrigerants in use.

EOS Climate’s Refrigerant Asset System distributes software and systems on top of the existing refrigerant supply chain to make it more efficient, enabling refrigerant users to track every pound of refrigerant from purchase through to its recovery and reclamation and its eventual end-of-life.

Joe Madden, co-founder of EOS Climate and white paper co-author, says the simplest and most cost-effective way to avoid emissions from HFCs is to recycle these refrigerants. “However, until HFC refrigerants are tracked from production to reuse in the supply chain, and metrics are established that incentivize their re-use, the likelihood of voluntary recycling will remain low,” Madden says.

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