Propane, a promising alternative refrigerant in split systems
A study published over the summer shows that the use of propane in all split air conditioning systems could prevent a global temperature increase of 0.09°C by the end of the century.
A study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) in August 2022 highlights the key role that propane could play in reducing global temperature, if used in split air conditioners.
The study published in PNAS carried out modelling that allowed to compare the impact on global warming between R32 and propane and to propose a numerical estimate.
Energy-efficient split air conditioners using propane as a low-GWP alternative are commercially available in the Chinese and Indian markets and account for about 2% of annual sales of split air conditioners in India.
According to the researchers, a complete switch to propane in split-type air conditioners could prevent a 0.09°C increase in global temperature by 2100, compared to 0.03°C with R32, over the use of R410A, the HFC traditionally used in these systems but whose use is now restricted, in particular by the Kigali Amendment.
This study takes into account the increase in demand for split air conditioning systems, the GWP of the two refrigerants (704 for R32, less than 1 for propane), and it uses the GAINS methodology to model HFC emissions.
For more information, the study is available from this link.