Refrigeration / Refrigerants & Reclaim

A ‘Natural’ Tilt by the EPA?

Where the Feds Seem to Stand on Certain Refrigerants

Tom Land, head of the EPA's GreenChill program, speaks at the FMI Energy and Store Development Conference
Tom Land, head of the EPA’s GreenChill program, speaks at the FMI Energy and Store Development Conference where a “Best of The Best” award was given to a store using a transcritical CO2 refrigeration system.
If you want to get some idea of where the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is leaning when it comes to refrigerants, consider the following: At the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Energy and Store Development Conference in Baltimore this past September, a “Best of the Best” award was given to a Hannaford store in Turner, Maine, by the EPA’s GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership. It was for the store’s transcritical CO2 system. And the store was called “the best GreenChill-certified store of all stores certified in the past year.”

CO2 is one of the “natural” refrigerants along with ammonia and HCs. The EPA and GreenChill have been focusing on naturals for several years now. In addition to extending kudos to CO2 stores, GreenChill has applauded increasing use of ammonia systems in supermarkets and given Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) approval to HCs in certain refrigeration applications, with plans to increase the number of applications.

The attention given to HFC refrigerants by the EPA has been for stores that have been reducing their charges of those f-gases.

The global regulatory landscape remains somewhat muddled concerning a phasedown in HFC production. That means that HFCs remain the preferred choice of the industry for refrigeration and no immediate roadblocks appear on the horizon.

But that has not stopped the EPA from seeming to have a ‘natural’ leaning.

Publication date: 10/21/2013

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