EPA delisting of HFCs delayed, but still opens up opportunities

Dr. Rajan Rajendran, Emerson’s Vice President of System Innovation Center and Sustainability, led the webinar declaring it “the first of many conversations the industry will have on the meaning of the EPA’s ruling and its impact on individual businesses”.

Rajendran detailed the initial decision-making process, noting the consultation period that was open after the EPA’s original proposal was published on August 6, 2014.

This period was used to negotiate the proposed delisting dates for HFC, which included the delisting of R404A and R507A in supermarket direct and secondary systems, condensing units and standalone self contained commercial refrigeration equipment for January 2016, amongst other proposed dates.

The dates that were eventually agreed upon have seen the delisting of R404A/R507A delayed by one year in new supermarket systems and two years in new remote condensing units, as well as stand-alone medium temperature refrigeration equipment, which sees delays of at least three years for implementation compared to the proposed dates of January 2016.

R744, R290 and R717 making their move

With the phasing out of R404A and R507A, amongst other high-GWP HFCs, Rajendran presented a table of what Emerson anticipates will be the likely alternatives.

In this table, Rajendran placed R744 as a likely alternatives for new supermarket commercial refrigeration systems and remote condensing units, in addition to stand-alone medium temperature equipment and new low temperature stand-alone equipment.

The place of R290 was also clarified as a likely alternative for medium temperature stand-alone equipment and low temperature stand-alone equipment, with only one other likely alternative noted, showing the clear market share naturals will obtain in this sector.

The role of ammonia was seen by Emerson to be in new supermarket commercial refrigeration units in the primary loop of secondary CO2 systems, as well as new remote condensing units, again in primary loop of secondary CO2 systems.

Delisted HFCs in other sectors, not just commercial refrigeration

While the focus of the webinar was on commercial and light commercial refrigeration, Rajandren went briefly through the other areas, which are seeing HFC delistings, including the foam, aerosol and mobile air conditioning sector.