The EU-funded project Refrigerants, Naturally! RefNat4LIFE has recently launched two free online courses – also known as massive online open courses (MOOC) – on natural refrigerants to support store owners’ and technicians’ transition away from f-gases.

These courses are self-paced and free to attend; after studying the modules, attendees are awarded a certificate of achievement.

The MOOC for store owners provides information on sustainable cooling and heating systems using natural refrigerants, targeting especially small food retailers. The different modules of the course touch on policy and emissions in the food retail sector, provide guidance on application choices and suggest ways to reduce in-store emissions and improve the sustainability of the store.

The course provides information on energy-efficient, natural-refrigerant-based cooling systems for refrigeration, AC and heat pump (RACHP) technicians to help them reduce clients’ energy consumption and GHG emissions.

The modules offer an overview on refrigeration and climate change, policy frameworks and legal requirements. Also covered are natural refrigerant characteristics, natural refrigerant system design, containment and leakage detection and system servicing and decommissioning.

These two free online courses on natural refrigerants have benefitted from input by the eight project partners across Europe, such as Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.

ATMOsphere, formerly known as shecco and publisher of this website, is the project co-lead for communication and dissemination activities. ATMOsphere also provides material related to natural refrigerants, specifically targeting the safe management of hydrocarbons or carbon dioxide/CO2 (R744).

RefNat4LIFE aims to promote the uptake of climate-friendly cooling alternatives among end users of RACHP equipment and service providers throughout Europe. The project already published a report last year, “Towards sustainable cooling in the European organic and small food retail sector – Status, technology needs and expectations,” sharing first-ever approximation of refrigeration, air-conditioning, and heat pump (RACHP)-related emissions within this sector in Europe.

This website also provides country-specific information for Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal. The two self-paced, free online course on natural refrigerants can be attended in English, German, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese.

For more information, visit or email

Other EU-funded projects on NatRefs and f-gases

Established in 1992, the LIFE Programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action, and it supports a number of programs focusing on natural refrigerants or f-gases’ management.

Project such as LIFE ZERO GWP, LIFE C4R, LIFE ICEGREEN and NATURAL HVACR 4 LIFE contribute to the uptake of natural refrigerants across RACHP applications, whereas Refrigerants LIFE Cycle, LIFE Retradeables and LIFE-4-Fgases support the proper deployment of reclamation, recycling and reuse of these gases. Finally, other projects such as LIFESF6FREE and LIFE GRID and LIFE SF6-FREE HV BREAKER support the uptake of alternatives to sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) in electricity grids.

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