UNDP: Natural refrigerants seen as solution to growing HFC consumption

By ammonia21.com team, Mar 02, 2016, 16:49 2 minute reading

“Action on climate change cannot be decisive without decisive action to limit HFC emission,” Jacques Van Engel, director of the United Nations Development Programme’s Montreal Protocol Unit. Inventories have been made public showing that consumption of HFCs is on the rise and identifying natural refrigerants as viable substitutes.

The inventories of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) consumption in six countries – Bangladesh, Chile, Colombia, Ghana, Indonesia and Nigeria – were created by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in order to ascertain current consumption levels of HFCs, provide future projections of growth patterns by substance and sector, and identify the opportunities and challenges in transitioning to low-GWP alternatives for various applications.

The inventories are publicly available on the website of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), which funded the project. They were first presented at a joint UNDP-CCAC side-event during the 27th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Dubai, which took place on 1-5 November 2015.

Growing use of HFCs

“Action on climate change cannot be comprehensive without decisive action to limit HFC emissions. The first step in this direction is to establish current HFC consumption levels and make informed projections of its growth and the resulting impact on emissions estimates,” said UNDP’s Van Engel.

According to the UNDP’s findings, in most countries the use of HFCs is rapidly increasing in important industry sectors such as air-conditioning, refrigeration, solvents, foam blowing and aerosols – where they are used as replacements for ozone-depleting substances controlled by the Montreal Protocol. In Chile and Colombia, for example, overall average HFC consumption grew by approximately 80% between 2008 and 2012.

Natural refrigerants seen as solution

The inventories identified numerous opportunities in each country for transitioning to low-GWP alternatives for various applications. Suggestions included both lower GWP HFC options and natural refrigerants. For example, the Colombian inventory suggests using HC-600a or HFC-1234yf instead of HFC-134a in domestic refrigeration, HC-290 in air conditioning for split and window systems, and HFC-1234yf or CO2 in mobile air conditioning. In Bangladesh, the inventory shows R600a as a viable substitute to HFC-134a in domestic refrigeration, while suggests the use of ammonia in chillers.

The Bangladesh inventory also detailed barriers to wider adoption of completely HFC-free technologies, putting forward possible solutions to overcome these hurdles. Based on consultations with stakeholders, the inventory identified flammability issues, insufficiently trained users, higher prices and the absence of information and standards for the sector. The inventory suggests that these barriers could be addressed by proper training, dissemination of information, and formulation of proper regulations, standards and policies.

More HFC inventories to come

The CCAC approved funding for the first six inventories implemented by UNDP in 2012. A further eight developing countries – namely the Bahamas, Cambodia, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, the Maldives, Mongolia, South Africa and Vietnam – will follow, in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), and the World Bank. These inventories aim to record current and projected future use of HFCs, as well as opportunities to avoid growth in high-GWP HFCs through policies and other measures.


By ammonia21.com team (@ammonia21)

Mar 02, 2016, 16:49

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