Briefs: phase-out of HCFCs

The December 31, 2009 deadline for the phase-out of HCFCs is expected to generate important problems in many countries: - In the US, no HCFC-22 can be produced or imported for use in refrigerating equipment manufactured after December 31, 2009. Based upon the latest EPA demand projection and recent proposed allowance rule, in 2010, the refrigeration industry will face a 20% HCFC-22 shortfall. Based on EPA allocation draft to set HCFC limits to meet more stringent phase-down caps under Montreal Protocol in 2007, 2010 allowed supply is estimated at about 50@000 tonnes while service demand is estimated at about 62 000 tonnes. - In Europe, use of virgin HCFC in refrigerating plants will be banned as of January 1, 2010 in application of EU Regulation 2037/2000. During a recent round table of refrigeration stakeholders organized by UK RAC Magazine, general lack of awareness or reluctance from companies to invest in new systems and non-decreasing demand for virgin HCFC-22 demand were considered as major causes of concern. Participants were especially concerned about people stockpiling virgin HCFC-22. Mel Bridges, from IDS Refrigeration, argues that in the UK, "the current amount available for reclaim is 200 tonnes, which is only 10% of the market; if 2000 tonnes a year is being bought to replace leakage of 15%, there would be a potential bank of about 15@000 tonnes out there, half of which is not reprocessable because of contaminationc if we donft control it will be out there with the unscrupulous contractors. With many end-users not knowing whatc is going on, they will be dumping it in their systems, and the machines are going to break down."