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Refrigerants: New Rules Reinforce Innovation

By Mary Page Bailey |

As new regulations take effect, familiar refrigerants are being phased out and a variety of next-generation materials and processes are being introduced Agreed upon in October 2016 after negotiations from over 170 nations, the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol seeks to phase out the use of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants due to their high global-warming potential (GWP), paving the way for newer, low-GWP refrigerant materials to enter the marketplace. Although the Kigali Amendment is certainly the most prominent refrigerant-related ruling in recent years, several other regulations focused on reducing the use of high-GWP chemical refrigerants have been implemented, including major delistings of HFCs in Europe, the U.S. and Japan. This article provides perspective on low-GWP refrigerants and some attendant operational considerations, and also highlights two refrigerant-free cooling technologies.   Growth in HFOs Although the Kigali Amendment was not finalized until late last year, the industry has been preparing for an eventual phasedown of HFCs for many years. Manufacturing capacity for low-GWP hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) refrigerants is set to ramp up significantly in the coming years, thanks to investments from companies…
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