WILMINGTON, Del. - “The basic science of global warming is sound; there is a natural greenhouse effect,” said Mack McFarland, an atmospheric scientist for DuPont Fluoroproducts, during a Webcast event this week. But even though the HVACR industry’s HFC refrigerants (such as R-410A) remain “the best option to meet many needs,” McFarland said he expected HFCs to continue face attack as well as calls for phaseout because they are seen as “a small but very visible part of the global warming issue.”

McFarland said that just six months after the European Commission (EC) seemed to give a seal of approval to HFCs in stationary equipment, “The EC has already issued a new report calling for further restricting or prohibiting uses of fluorinated gases.”

Meanwhile, he said California regulations continue to move forward to “adopt specifications for new commercial refrigeration [that] limit the global warming potential of refrigerants used in refrigerators in retail food stores, restaurants, and refrigerated transport vehicles.”

He noted DuPont continues to develop “low GWP [global warming potential] options” to meet a phaseout in Europe for R-134a in automotive air conditioning. He said the research could “be leveraged to other refrigeration applications.”

He also said that based on the current use of HCFC-22, there will be shortfall of the refrigerant by about 2015. He encouraged contractors to “avoid using R-22 in equipment for new installations, improve service practices, enhance efforts to capture and recycle R-22, and retrofit existing R-22 equipment with non-ozone depleting refrigerants such as HFCs.”

Publication date:02/26/2007