November 2021


HFCs and HFOs towards the ban in Europe?

On July 15 2021, five member states of the European Community – Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Denmark – published their intention to submit a joint restriction proposal under the European REACH regulations for per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) by July 2022.

The European REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) regulation has authority over chemicals that can be produced and used within the EU. Any modification to this regulation has the direct consequence to override the F-gas regulation. This proposal, indeed, includes any substance that has a CF2 group or a CF3 group – properties shared by HFC and HFO refrigerants.

It is known that the degradation of HFOs and HFCs when released in atmosphere can produce trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) which effect is persistent and has the potential to harm the environment, marine life and humans. The F-gas regulation addresses global warming, but does not address concerns about the persistence and accumulation of TFAs given the continued development and application of F-gases such as HFOs.

The F-gases under threat could include a range of lower and low GWP alternatives common to the refrigeration and air conditioning industry including the HFCs R32, R125, R134a, R143a, R152a and the HFOs R1234yf, R1234ze(E), R1336mzz(E), R1336mzz(Z), R1233zd(E) and R1224yd.

This is another piece of news that confirms that the only viable way to save our planet and human health is the use of natural refrigerants, such as propane R290 and isobutane R600a.