ATMOsphere, publisher of R744.com, has released a new fact sheet showing that the GWP of a number of commonly used f-gas refrigerants increased between the 4th Assessment Report (AR4) published in 2007 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the 6th Assessment Report (AR6) published by the IPCC in 2021.
The fact sheet also indicates that most of the listed f-gases fall under the category of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyls substances, also known as “forever chemicals”) as defined by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).
The ATMOsphere fact sheet can be accessed for free at this link.
Authorities around the world are known to still refer to the AR4 GWP values. However, all GWP values – both those measured over 100 years and over 20 years – are higher in AR6, indicating that scientists are refining their understanding of the real climate-trapping effect of these substances.
For instance, under AR6, the commonly used HFC-32 has a 100-year GWP value of 771 and a 20-year value of 2,690. The same substance was previously determined in AR4 to have a 100-year GWP of 650 and 20-year GWP of 2,330.
“ATMOsphere urges policymakers to consider the real GWP of refrigerants and look not only at the 100-year GWP but also 20-year GWP perspective when designing new regulations,” said Marc Chasserot, CEO of ATMOsphere.
In addition, almost all of the f-gas refrigerants identified in the fact sheet would be subject to the restrictions under review in the EU PFAS Restriction Proposal submitted by the chemical agencies of five European countries either because they fall within the definition of PFAS or contain a chemical that does.
“ATMOsphere is concerned by the PFAS pollution that would arise from the deployment of seemingly low-GWP fluorinated refrigerants and calls on policymakers worldwide to apply the precautionary principle to these substances, refraining from greenlighting them when better, safer, more energy efficient alternatives already exist using natural refrigerants,” said Chasserot.
Natural refrigerants such as carbon dioxide, ammonia, hydrocarbons, air and water are not persistent chemicals and have negligible global warming potentials. They are a reliable, efficient, safe and cost-effective solution across multiple regions, temperatures and technologies in the refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump (RACHP) industry. Other not-in-kind technologies not relying on refrigerants could also be deployed instead of continuing to include fluorinated substances.