- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
The EPA and the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) have expanded a voluntarily program to reduce hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions from coolant and insulation used in making new freezers and refrigerators. Once implemented, the program would significantly reduce HFC emissions from the manufacture of 12 million refrigerator-freezers in the United States and more than 60 million worldwide each year.
HFCs are used in refrigerators and freezers in two ways - as the working refrigerant fluid and as a blowing agent for insulation foam found within the cabinet walls. The chemicals have become widely used as substitutes for chlorofluorocarbons and other ozone-depleting chemicals, which have been largely phased out. While HFCs do not harm the stratospheric ozone layer, when released to the atmosphere, they are potent greenhouse gases - up to 1,300 times more potent than CO2.
The new program recommends specific strategies for reducing emissions during all stages of production, including delivery, storage, and transfer of refrigerants and blowing agents, as well as factory piping, blending operations, calibration of foam blowing equipment, foam injection and refrigerant system charging, testing, and refrigerant recovery.
The EPA is collaborating with many industries to quantify emissions and to promote better, more advanced technologies in key sectors, including refrigeration. In 2004, the agency began with 22 companies in the fire protection industry as part of a series of similar projects that were sector-specific initiatives to reduce and control HFCs. For more information on the new initiative, visit www.epa.gov/ozone.