Sunday, July 27, 2014

EPA Proposes Ban on R-404A and Other Refrigerants

You may have heard that the EPA is proposing to ban the use of some common refrigerants  I would like to give a brief overview of things you should know about this proposed ruling. First – at this stage it is still a proposal – not a ruling. Typically the way this works they publish a proposed ruling, allow us to comment on it, revise the ruling based on the comments (if they choose to), and publish the final ruling.  Since this is still a proposed ruling, you have a little time before it will take effect. Second, not all industries are affected by this ruling. Air conditioning caught a break – air conditioning systems are not covered . However, motor vehicle air conditioning IS covered. For motor vehicle air conditioning the big news is that 134a will no longer be acceptable in NEW VEHICLES beginning January 2016. A large number of zeotropes are also banned from use in new vehicles, but most of those are mainly used today as an R12 substitute. That should not have a great effect because they are only banned in NEW vehicles.

Retail refrigeration appliances and vending machines are also covered. The big news here is that R507 and R404A will be considered unacceptable for both new AND retrofit applications in retail refrigeration beginning January 2016. Retail refrigeration would include things such as display cases in grocery stores.

Four areas that are NOT covered by this proposed rule (yet) include cold storage warehouses, ice machines, refrigerated transport, and industrial process  refrigeration. However, the EPA is specifically asking for comments about the possibility of using low GWP refrigerants in these areas as well.
 “EPA requests comment on the use and viability of both low-GWP refrigerants (e.g., R-744, R-717, and HCs) and other HFC-blends (e.g., R-407A and R-407F) and the possibility of listing R-404A, R-507A, and other high-GWP blends unacceptable in any or all of these four end-uses.” I encourage you to do some of your own research into this. Here is a link to the proposed RULING. Here is a link to a FACT SHEET about the ruling. Here is a table summarizing the proposed changes to the auto air conditioning and retail refrigeration refrigerants.


Refrigerant Uses Deemed Unacceptable as of January 1, 2016
End-use
Substitute
Further Information
Retail food refrigeration (new and retrofit)
R-404A
R-404A is a blend, by weight, of 44% HFC-125, 4% HFC-134a, and 52% HFC-143a. It has a high GWP of approximately 3,920. Other substitutes are available for this endues with lower overall risk to human health and the environment.
Retail food refrigeration (new and retrofit)
R-507A
R-507A is a blend, by weight, of 50% HFC-125 and 50% HFC-143a. It has a high GWP of approximately 3,990. Other substitutes are available for this end-use with lower overall risk to human health and the environment.
Retail food refrigeration (condensing units and supermarket systems) (new)
HFC-227ea, R-407B, R-421B, R-422A, R-422C, R-422D, R-428A, R-434A
These refrigerants have GWPs ranging from 2,729 to 3,607. Other substitutes are available for this end use with lower overall risk to human health and the environment.
Retail food refrigeration (condensing units and supermarket systems) (retrofit)
R-407B, R-421B, R-422A, R-422C, R-422D, R-428A, R-434A
These refrigerants have GWPs ranging from 2,729 to 3,607. Other substitutes are available for this end use with lower overall risk to human health and the environment.
Retail food refrigeration (stand alone units only) (new only)
HFC-134a
HFC-134a has a Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number (CAS Reg. No.) of 811-97-2 and it is also known by the name 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoropropane. HFC-134a has a relatively high GWP of 1,430. Other substitutes are available for this end use with lower overall risk to human health and the environment
Retail food refrigeration (stand alone units only) (new only)
FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-227ea, IKON B, KDD6, R- 125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-407A, R-407B, R-407C, R-407F, R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-421B, R-422A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-424A, R-426A, R-428A, R-434A, R-437A, R-438A, RS-24 (2002 formulation), RS-44 (2003 formulation), SP34E, THR-03.
These refrigerants have GWPs ranging from approximately 550 to 3,607. Other substitutes are available for this end-use with lower overall risk to human health and the environment.
Vending machines (new and retrofit)
R-404A
R-404A is a blend, by weight, of 44% HFC-125, 4% HFC-134a, and 52% HFC-143a. It has a high GWP of approximately 3,920. Other substitutes are available for this endues with lower overall risk to human health and the environment.
Vending machines (new and retrofit)
R-507A
R-507A is a blend, by weight, of 50% HFC-125 and 50% HFC-143a. It has a high GWP of approximately 3,990. Other substitutes are available for this end-use with lower overall risk to human health and the environment.
Vending machines (new only)
HFC-134a
HFC-134a has a Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number (CAS Reg. No.) of 811-97-2 and it is also known by the name 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoropropane. HFC-134a has a relatively high GWP of 1,430. Other substitutes are available for this end use with lower overall risk to human health and the environment
Vending machines (new only)
FOR12A, FOR12B, IKON B, KDD6, R- 125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-407C, R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-426A, R-437A, R-438A, RS-24 (2002 formulation), SP34E.
These refrigerants have GWPs ranging from approximately 550 to 3,085. Other substitutes are available for this end-use with lower overall risk to human health and the environment.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the update Carter. I am glad someone is paying attention. I personally think like most hard working, tax paying citizens that the government does enough already and since they have made a mess of more topics than I have time to blog about lets all quit fixing air conditioners and run for office!

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