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IOR policy paper on refrigerant selection for net zero

The IOR’s Beyond Refrigeration Net Zero working group has prepared a Policy Brief on the selection of refrigerant, to identify policy measures that would help support the path to Net Zero by users of refrigeration air conditioning and heat pump systems.

Selection of refrigerant has been continually debated since the commercialisation of refrigeration technology. Recent amendments to the Montreal Protocol (particularly the Kigali Amendment, which seeks to phase down the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the issuance of EU and UK ozone and F‐gas regulations as well as the wider discussion over ‘net zero’ encourages the selection of low GWP refrigerants.

However, many of the low GWP options have additional safety and/or cost implications associated with them and therefore selection of refrigerant is not usually straightforward.

This third policy brief now available as a draft for comment by members, is based on the recently produced IOR Guidance Note (no37) on Refrigerant Selection and the accompanying statement by the IOR Technical Committee that in order that to support net zero commitments equipment designers, purchasers, owners, and operators select a refrigerant with the lowest GWP possible – provided that this doesn’t compromise efficiency.

With the on-going phase-down and quota restrictions on HFC refrigerants having the greatest impact on the availability of higher GWP refrigerants as well as certain use bans under national regulations, there are very good commercial, as well as environmental reasons for moving to low GWP refrigerants.

The IOR Refrigerant Selection Policy Brief identifies key legislation and regulations that should support this – primarily the review of the GB F Gas Regulations that is expected in the first half of 2022.

Note: a future policy brief will cover whole system sustainability, considering embodied carbon and breakdown of chemicals, and these issues should also be taken into account when selecting suitable refrigerant.

To download the policy draft, click here.