At some point, a refrigerant brought back for reclamation simply can’t be brought back to ARI-700 purity standards. There are a couple of approaches, including, destruction, which has a long track record, and, another option, conversion, offers a much fresher approach.
With supplies of some refrigerants dwindling, costs rising, and recordkeeping and venting regulations in place, the need for careful refrigerant management is needed more than ever. That being the case, more and more manufacturers are coming out with products to address the need.
A reader raised concerns over a refrigerant product on the shelf of a farm supply store. The product had as its sales pitch, “Why switch from the traditional R-22 refrigerants,” and it was noted on the label that the package contained the equivalent of 30 pounds of HCFC-22.
About a month before the AHR Expo, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicated it would permit the industry to produce and import 39 million pounds of virgin HCFC-22 in 2013, down from 55 million pounds in 2012.
While much of the buzz at the AHR Expo was on dwindling supplies of new HCFC-22, reclamation of that refrigerant, and use of alternative HFCs in retrofits, a number of conversations centered on alternatives beyond familiar HFCs.
So just when we thought regulatory actions related to the environment were pretty mute, given not much traction in Washington mainly due to a sluggish economy, along comes, of all people, the president of the United States.