HVAC Breaking News

Jan. 20, 2009: GE Seeks EPA Approval to Use Isobutane as a Refrigerant

January 20, 2009
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - GE announced that the company has requested approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use isobutane as a refrigerant in household refrigerators. The petition was filed under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP)(a) program which evaluates alternatives to substances being phased out under the Clean Air Act for protection of the stratospheric ozone layer.

According to GE, isobutane has been widely used in household refrigerators in Europe and parts of Asia for several years. EPA approval for the use of isobutane in U.S. household refrigerators would allow, for the first time, use of a hydrocarbon refrigerant as a substitute for HCFC-based refrigerants now widely used in the U.S. The company said using hydrocarbon refrigerants would result in a lower global-warming impact.

Upon gaining EPA approvals, GE plans to include isobutane in a new GE Monogram® brand refrigerator currently in development for introduction in early 2010. The GE Monogram refrigerator will use cyclopentane, another hydrocarbon, as the insulation foam-blowing agent to replace commonly used HFC foam blowing agents. GE will begin test marketing HFC-free GE Monogram refrigerators in select locations later this year. Conversion of the household refrigerators to hydrocarbon refrigerants will be dependent on EPA approval and favorable public policy supporting the transition, but the company believes the climate change benefits could be significant.

“The approval of isobutane under SNAP will pave the way for the use of low-GWP refrigeration technology in the U.S. to help address global warming challenges. A refrigerator with lower GWP emissions will allow consumers to reduce their carbon footprint,” said Kevin Nolan, vice president of technology for GE Appliances. “Our goal is to deliver a new GE Monogram refrigerator that will be Energy Star qualified, and that will conform to GE and third-party safety standards for the use of hydrocarbon refrigerants, including specifically the standards that address any flammability risks associated with the use of hydrocarbon refrigerants. We plan to seek ecomagination certification, a rigorous GE process to demonstrate both operational and environmental benefits.”

According to Drusilla Hufford, director of EPA’s Stratospheric Protection Division, “EPA welcomes GE’s decision to apply for SNAP review of this hydrocarbon refrigerant for household refrigerators, which will be carefully considered by EPA both in terms of its safety and environmental attributes. The environmental gains that have already been realized in the transition from ozone-depleting substances such as CFC-12 under the Montreal Protocol have been dramatic. Should EPA reach a favorable determination on this SNAP submittal, this could be part of the next important step in the market’s transition to more environmentally friendly refrigerants.”

For more information, visit www.ge.com.

Publication date: 01/19/2009

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

2014 MCAA Annual Convention

Scenes from the 2014 MCAA Annual Convention in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Podcasts

NEWSmakers: Julian Scadden

Training is an ongoing process. Julian will discuss how you can generate maximum return on time and energy invested training by following a three part process. Listen to this podcast to get expert tips on training, tracking and follow up. 

More Podcasts

THE MAGAZINE

ACHRNEWS

NEWS 04-14-14 cover

2014 April 14

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

SERVICE CALLS POLL

Which statement on service calls best applies to your business?
View Results Poll Archive

HVACR INDUSTRY STORE

plumbing-hvac.gif
2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research

 

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

DON'T MISS A THING

Magazine image
 
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con