Report Seeks to Validate HFCs

A recent report, commissioned by an association of manufacturers who rely on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), provides a comparative analysis of HFCs and alternative fluids used for different applications including refrigeration, air-conditioning and fire protection.

07/10/2002


A recent report, commissioned by an association of manufacturers who rely on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), provides a comparative analysis of HFCs and alternative fluids used for different applications including refrigeration, air-conditioning and fire protection.

Because the Kyoto Protocol, which calls for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, has classified HFCs as a greenhouse gas, the Arlington, Va.-based Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy enlisted the services of consultant Arthur D. Little, Inc., Cambridge, Mass., to analyze the benefits and shortcomings of HFCs as compared to other fluids.

"HFCs absorb more infrared energy, which causes global warming, but they're popular because they are commercially available, energy efficient, safe, cost effective and recyclable," states Steven H. Bernhardt, an environmental manager with DuPont Fluoroproducts.

The report also points out that non-process-related HFC emissions amounted to 0.8% of the total warming impact of greenhouse gas emissions in 1999. Further, the availability of HFCs on the market has been estimated to save the U.S. roughly $17 billion every year, and a total of $36 billion worldwide, due to the increased product, energy and safety costs associated with a potential phase-out of HFCs.

The study discusses the different applications of HFCs, comparing energy efficiency, climate impact, safety and economics with a number of other fluids such as hydrocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons, isobutane, ammonia, methane and carbon dioxide.

For more information, visit the Alliance's web site at www.arap.org .





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