The newly developed guide provides a systematic overview of the key measures and activities for corporate climate protection in the food industry, underpinned by concrete recommendations, useful tips and catchy visualizations.
Updated whitepaper published
Refrigerant phase-down: news on the F-Gas regulation
The so-called F-gases, the best known being CFCs, have been subject to strict regulations for some time now because of their harmfulness to the ozone layer. These include bans on the production of certain refrigerants, caps on manufacturing quantities, bans on their use in certain systems, stricter leak tests, etc. Currently, a significant tightening of the F-gases regulation to accelerate the phase-out of refrigerants with medium and high global warming potentials (GWP values) is under discussion.
F-gases are mainly used as refrigerants in refrigeration systems, air conditioning systems and heat pumps. The massive expansion of heat pump use will also lead to the reduction of F-gases with high GWP within the next few years.
Refrigerant bans aim to reduce fluorinated greenhouse gas emissions
The EU Regulation No. 517/2014 on fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-Gas Regulation) aims to massively reduce emissions of these very harmful greenhouse gases. By 2030, emissions of climate-damaging gases from refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pumps should be reduced to 21 percent of the reference quantity, the annual allowable amount of new fluorinated greenhouse gases introduced into the European market. The amendment reduces the target to 5.1 percent.
The aim is to save 40 million metric tons of CO₂ equivalents by 2030 and a total of 310 million metric tons of CO₂ equivalents by 2050. From 2030, this would reduce HFC consumption by a further 20 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year. This affects more than 2 million refrigeration and air conditioning systems in industry and commerce, as well as the refrigerants used in heat pumps.
PFAS ban under the REACH regulation
The amendment of F-gases (German) currently in preparation and the proposed PFAS (perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl compounds) restriction procedure under the EU chemicals regulation REACH will very likely ensure that the use of fluorinated refrigerants will no longer be possible, or only possible to a very limited extent, for a very short time, both in new systems and in existing ones.
By definition, most F-gases used in refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump systems also belong to the PFAS group of substances, including the most important HFOs. Apart from an ambitious and faster phase-down of the available refrigerant quantities, planned bans of the F-gas regulation have immediate effects:
- Ban on new stationary refrigeration equipment using fluorinated refrigerants from 2025 onwards
- Ban on plug-in room air conditioners, monobloc and other self-contained air conditioners and heat pump units with F-gases from 2026 onwards
- Ban on stationary split air conditioners and heat pumps with < 3 kg of F-gases from 2027 onwards
- Prohibition of split air conditioners and heat pumps with F-gases < 12 kW from 2028 onwards
- Restriction of split systems with a nominal capacity between 12 kW and 200 kW to refrigerants with a GWP below 750 from 2028 onwards
- Prohibition of F-gases in split systems with a nominal capacity of more than 200 kW from 2028 onwards
- Ban on the use of F-gases with a GWP > 150 for maintenance and service on stationary refrigeration systems (except chillers) from 2024, with a GWP > 2500 for maintenance and service on air conditioners, heat pumps and chillers from 2024. Reprocessed or recycled F-gases can be used in service until the end of 2029.
Alternative sustainable refrigerants
Natural refrigerants such as CO2, propane, isobutane, ammonia and water are sustainable. New hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) refrigerants, such as R1234 yf / ze/ zd and R1233zd(E) whose GWP values are below 10, are offered as alternative refrigerants but contain PFAS. Using a different refrigerant is a significant change to the refrigeration system. This requires, among other things, a risk assessment and manufacturer’s declaration.
Redesigning the refrigeration supply to meet future needs
We recommend that you already now redesign the refrigeration supply in your company to be future-proof. When assessing existing systems and planning new systems, ask the manufacturers about the future viability of the refrigerants used. We have compiled the most important information and tips for you in the following whitepaper.
Refrigerant Phase-Down Whitepaper
For more detailed information, we’ve created a free whitepaper. You will find out:
- Background and opportunities of the F-Gas regulation
- What to look for when choosing a refrigerant
- Advantages and disadvantages of the different refrigerants
- Tips on what to consider when converting systems
Further information on climate protection and the energy transition
On the path to climate neutrality, renewable energies are an important component for companies. Against the backdrop of rising electricity and gas prices, it is worthwhile to take a comprehensive look at investments in renewable energy sources.
The Phase-Down procedure limits the quantities of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The availability of refrigerants is decreasing, prices continue to rise and illegal trade in refrigerants is being tackled in the EU with a new law.