R-22 Phase-out: The End of an Era As the EPA works towards worldwide phase out of ozone-depleting CFCs, the refrigerant of choice (HFCFC-22, more commonly known as R-22) for commercial and residential use has begun its long awaited phase-out. Although HFCFCs are not as harmful as CFCs they still contain chlorine – an ozone-depleting agent – and need to be appropriately addressed and properly handled. R-22 and the Montreal Protocol – An International Environmental Agreement R-22 was first listed as a danger to the environment in 1987 in the Montreal Protocol, an international environmental agreement. That agreement included a phase-out schedule for HCFCs, including R-22. Below is the timeline as listed @EPA.gov: Phase-out Schedule for HCFCs – Including R-22 Under the terms of the Montreal Protocol, the U.S. agreed to meet certain obligations by specific dates that will affect the residential heat pump and air-conditioning industry: January 1, 2004: The Montreal Protocol required the U.S. to reduce its consumption of HCFCs by 35% below the U.S. baseline cap. As of January 1, 2003, EPA banned the production and import of HCFC-141b, the most ozone-destructive HCFCs. This action allowed the United States to meet its obligations under the Montreal Protocol. The EPA was able to issue 100% of company baseline allowances for production and import of HCFC-22 (R-22) and HCFC-142b. January 1, 2010: The Montreal Protocol requires the U.S. to reduce its consumption of HCFCs (R-22) by 75% below the U.S. baseline. Allowance holders may only produce or import HCFC-22 to service existing equipment. Virgin R-22 may not be used in new equipment. As a result, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system manufacturers may not produce new air conditioners and heat pumps containing R-22. January 1, 2015: The Montreal Protocol requires the U.S. to reduce its consumption of HCFCs (R-22) by 90% below the U.S. baseline. January 1, 2020: The Montreal Protocol requires the U.S. to reduce its consumption of HCFCs by 99.5% below the U.S. baseline. Refrigerant that has been recovered and recycled/reclaimed will be allowed beyond 2020 to service existing systems, but chemical manufacturers will no longer be able to produce R-22 to service existing air conditioners and heat pumps.
Posted on: Mon, 08 Jul 2013 01:19:50 +0000
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