DuPont Refrigerants has called for intensified actions to address the potential for a major R-22 refrigerant shortfall beginning in 2010. A recently issued proposed allocation rule from the U.S. EPA, which would take effect in 2010, projects a 27.5 million pound supply shortfall, based on demand projections for the air conditioning and refrigeration service aftermarket (see graphic).
Measures to conserve R-22 by increased efforts to reclaim it, and by retrofitting equipment with R-22 replacements like DuPont™ ISCEON® refrigerants, are two critical ways business owners and facility managers can avoid potential negative impact to their operations, according to DuPont. The company has expanded its Refrigerant Reclaim Program, and continues to offer retrofit solutions to replace R-22 in existing systems.
DuPont is also supporting industry educational initiatives to ensure that refrigerant users understand the effects of the recently proposed regulations and are able to put effective refrigerant management programs into place in advance of the anticipated 2010 shortfall.
“With this new projection, it’s become increasingly clear that the industry will need to rely on the recovery and reuse of recycled and reclaimed R-22 as well as retrofits of existing equipment to hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) replacement products such as DuPont™ ISCEON® refrigerants to avoid shortfalls going forward,” said Diane Iuliano Picho, global business manager, DuPont Refrigerants.
ISCEON® refrigerants have been field tested and demonstrate up to 12% more energy savings than R-22 in low temperature equipment, and offers 32% lower global warming potential than R404A. Retrofitting to HFCs such as ISCEON® refrigerants, as part of a well-designed refrigerant management plan, puts businesses in a better position to avoid anticipated supply and labor issues as the phase-out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) including R22 draws closer.
The DuPont Refrigerants Reclaim Program has recently been enhanced to provide a variety of options to its distributors so they can develop reclaim programs with their customers. Enhancements to the program allow DuPont distributors to choose the best option for handling used refrigerant, including R-22. Distributors select the best option for their needs and pursue and promote the return of used refrigerant with branch and targeted programs to support retrofits away from R-22.
DuPont has also been working with industry groups, like the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute’s Chemicals and Refrigerant Reclaimers’ (CRR) Communications Committee, to help put together a Web site (www.phaseoutfacts.org) which is expected to launch in March of 2009. The site will contain information regarding refrigerant issues primarily related to regulations and the phase out of HCFCs aimed at manufacturers, distributors, contractors, and equipment owners/facility managers.