On the grounds of safety, costs and the freedom of refrigerant choice, the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) has raised objections towards a proposed regulation ” Rule 19- Climate-friendly Refrigerant Alternatives” from the US EPA Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program, which would affect a number of categories of refrigeration equipments : Commercial refrigeration equipment, Automatic ice-makers, Walk-in coolers and freezers.
The SNAP Proposed Rule intends to prohibit some HFC uses as part of their phase-down, and to encourage the use of lower GWP alternatives such as butane, iso-butane, propane, R-441A (ethane R-170/propane R-290/isobutane R-600a/butane R-600 blend) and HFC-32.
The association is questioning the EPA proposal on the grounds of safety, cost and product freedom of choice, as the proposed rule would create a number of safety and business concerns.
The flammability of alternatives may affect factories, service and operators, and would place an undue burden on small businesses, including cost increases, plant retrofit, insurance, distribution and employee training.
HFC bans might contradict the US Department of Energy (DOE) final rule regarding energy conservation standards for commercial refrigeration equipment, which is also opposed by NAFEM, arguing that some suggested technologies do not exist or could not be implemented
Existing units should be allowed to continue operating, and manufacturers allowed to keep their freedom of refrigerant choice.
See also “Safety first when choosing a refrigerant! “
Source: NAFEM – North american Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers