Why innovation is vital to F-Gas Regulations
As F-Gas Regulations in the European Union come under scrutiny, the refrigerant industry has a vital role to play in ensuring the regulations are met. We discuss the challenges and solutions that are making a difference to the regulations.
What are the F-Gas Regulations?
The regulation on fluorinated gases, which are greenhouse gases containing fluorine, were introduced by the EU on 1st January 2015 to reduce the damage to the environment caused by these chemicals.
The F-Gas regulations cover various limitations for the industry, including:
The amount of emission output by a single company is subject to a quota, meaning that there is a limited market on the amount of refrigerant a company can produce and sell.
There is strict enforcement on checking for leaks all the way down the supply chain to ensure dangerous chemicals are not released into the air.
All suppliers are only allowed to sell refrigerants to trained and certified professionals to ensure chemicals are handled and installed properly.
To reduce waste, all suppliers must produce refillable canisters with clear instructions for users on how to recycle them.
What are the challenges?
At the moment, the largest challenge facing the industry is the black market trade and the lack of policing from authorities to prevent the import of cheap or counterfeit products. Smuggled into the EU from places such as China, many of these illegal refrigerants are not in line with EU regulations. Typically, illegal refrigerants do not come in refillable canisters, and are not certified in line with EU regulations. There are also legitimate products in refillable containers being imported that are by-passing the quota system and again policing of this is an issue.
While customers down the supply chain believe they are getting a cheaper product, border controls are cracking down on the smuggling operations, seizing goods and handing out huge fines worth millions in some cases, as well as prison time.
It’s estimated that a third of the F-Gas allowance is made up of illegal refrigerants, which leaves less space in the market for trustworthy suppliers.
We support the European Fluorocarbons Technical Committee (EFCTC) as they fight back against the black market to make the EU a safer, greener place.
Another challenge facing the industry is the global warming potential (GWP) of refrigerants. Some products have a high GWP and are used by large companies that mass produce everyday objects such as cars, fire extinguishers and refrigerators.
The supply industry has a responsibility to educate the supply chain on the importance of being conscious of the GWP of the products used, and to also offer a solution by providing an alternative option.
What are the alternatives to high GWP refrigerants?
For years, we have been innovating in the Klea® labs to produce a new range of low GWP products to replace many of the current refrigerants on the market. The environmental benefit is huge as the new products have a lower GWP of up to 95 percent when compared to other products. Here are the ways they can be applied across the industry.
With Klea® refrigerants used in 20 million new cars each year, we have a responsibility to tackle this huge market and ensure our customers can meet their climate goals.
With seven times more hybrid and electric vehicles on the road than there was just seven years ago, it’s clear that consumers are thinking about their carbon footprint when investing in a vehicle, so ensuring that the heating and cooling elements are also as environmentally friendly as possible is a must for our customers, which include Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan.
One of our development refrigerants has a low GWP of <100, and more importantly offers a higher performance than existing products, meaning that it’s extremely energy efficient. It is tailored specifically to hybrid and electric vehicles to provide increased vehicle range and greater performance.
Cold chain plays a vital role in keeping high value items such as medicines and food fresh. It is also used in applications such as fast freezing of fish and automotive test chambers, but maintaining the specific temperatures required can consume a lot of energy and result in high CO2 output.
Our new refrigerant, LFR5, offers a solution with a significantly lower GWP of up to 90% when compared to previous products. The future proof innovation not only exceeds F-Gas regulations, but has an improved cooling capacity all the way down to -70°C. This guarantees higher performance for longer for our customers.
Across Europe the demand for residential, commercial and industrial units is quickly on the rise. The hotter temperatures responsible for the demand is down to climate change, and more HVAC units are likely to contribute to this issue.
Another of our next gen development refrigerants offers a low GWP of just 285, which is an 85 percent reduction from R-410A, our current product in this market. The lower GWP will allow companies to produce units in line with demand without worrying about the F-Gas cap.
Refrigerants have countless applications in the cooling industry, and LFR3 meets a wide range of these. From heat pump systems to refrigeration trucks, our development refrigerant has a lower environmental impact and better performance than CO2 products, with a higher energy efficiency of up to 20 percent.
Our new ranges of next-generation refrigerants exceed F-Gas Regulations to future-proof your products, as we work with our customers to ensure the industry protects the environment.
If your company would like a free sample of our development refrigerants, please contact your regional sales team to request one.