BRIEF REVIEW OF POSITIVE DEVELOPMENTS RELATING TO FLUOROCARBONS IN 2020
Tim Vink, our EFCTC vice-chairman, will be taking a well-earned retirement from Honeywell at the end of 2020. Tim has been EFCTC vice-chairman for nearly 20 years, has taken the lead on countless issues, drafted numerous position papers and letters plus represented EFCTC at many meetings. He has always brought his analytical mind and enthusiasm to all our discussions helping us get to conclusions whilst never losing his sense of Dutch humor. We wish Tim a long and happy retirement. The new EFCTC vice-chairman will be Pete Sleigh from Koura.
Latest on TFA from the Environmental Effects Assessment Panel 2020 Update
TFA from increased demand for cooling because of climate change and continued use of HFCs and replacement products (HFOs): currently judged as low risk for ecosystems and humans. Current concentrations of TFA salts and related compounds in soils and surface water do not present risks of adverse effects in aquatic and terrestrial animals: no-observed-effect-concentration for aquatic species is typically >10,000 ug/L; rainwater samples: 0.210 ug/L (Germany 2018/2019). From the Environmental Effects Assessment Panel 2020 Update at November 2020 Montreal Protocol meeting.
Improved understanding of ozone depletion for very short-lived substances
For very short-lived substances (VSLSs) with atmospheric lifetimes less than a few months, such as the HCFOs and CF3I (iodotrifluoromethane), most of their effect occur in the troposphere. In contrast for long‐lived species almost all the ozone depletion occurs in the stratosphere. This new information is included in EFCTC position paper submitted for the ODS regulation review public consultation.
HFOs and HCFOs contribute to reducing energy consumption in Horizon 2020 funded projects
The EU-funded RES4BUILD project is developing integrated renewable energy-based solutions that are tailored to the needs and requirements of users and installers. Low GWP HFO R-1234ze(E) has been selected for the multi-source vapour injection heat pump. Another cutting-edge EU project is the trilateral flash cycle (TFC) system, which benefits from the use of HFC-245fa or HCFO-1233zd(E). Demonstration small scale Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) machines have been installed at geothermal sites. HCFO-1233zd(E) has been chosen as the ORC working fluid for its very interesting performance for the low temperature ORC applications.
F-Gas Regulation is delivering change
For the latest data available in the new EEA report published (1 December 2020), in 2019 HFC-32, HFOs and HCFOs accounted for about 43% of the reported total supply of HFCs/HFOs/HCFOs as metric tonnes, this is an increased share compared with 2018 (37%). A more detailed item about the reported data will be in the February newsletter. For the 4 years since 2014, EU reported HFC emissions have decreased each year and decreased as a percentage of total EU emissions. Mildly flammable A2L classified refrigerants with GWPs <150 are gaining ground for commercial refrigeration applications, in some circumstances being preferred to propane or CO2.
Drive to prevent illegal trade gains momentum
An assessment of HFC trade flow data indicated that illegal trade could represent about 33% of the legally allowed quota in 2018 and encouraged further action. The EFCTC calls for industry and consumers to put a stop to the illegal trade in HFCs via a pledge to #SayNoToIllegalHFCs has received considerable support. Joint actions by OLAF and member state authorities have resulted in target operations to seize illegal HFCs. Integrated restrictions are being added to the EU Single Window environment for customs which will result in automatic compliance checks of every shipment declared for release for free circulation. Illegal trade was a major topic raised by stakeholders in their feedback to the Commission on Fluorinated greenhouse gases – review of EU rules (2015-20). The amended German Chemical Act aims to remove enforcement obstacles in combating illegal trade in fluorinated greenhouse gases by enabling enforcement through the supply chain and includes downstream traders and users.
Best wishes for 2021 – another interesting and very busy year expected!