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Fluorinated greenhouse gases (f-gases) are a group of chemicals containing fluorine. The most common f-gases in use within Europe are HFCs, such as R134a, R404A and R410A. These gases have a number of applications, the largest being as a refrigerant.
HFCs are ozone friendly, energy efficient refrigerants that are generally of low toxicity and non-flammable. However f-gases have a relatively high GWP, and thus contribute to global warming when released to the atmosphere.
The European Union is aiming to reduce the environmental impact of fluorinated gases via regulation. The first f-gas regulation EC 842/2006 focused on reducing emissions mostly by preventing leaks in systems, and in the responsible end-of-life recovery and destruction of gases.
F-Gas Regulations Update
The EU has recently published an updated regulation EC 517/2014. This regulation replaces 842/2006 and comes into force on 1st January 2015. The changes include:
|Cap and Phase Down||A reduction on the placing of the market of f-gases via a cap, and phase down on the supply of HFCs.|
|New Product & Equipment Bans||Restrictions on certain refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, foams and propellants using f-gases.|
|Service & Maintenance Bans||Limits on the use of higher GWP gases, such as R404A and R507A, in existing refrigeration and air conditioning equipment from 2020.|
|Leakage Control||An increased need for leak checks, leak detection systems, and associated record-keeping.|
|Responsible Supply||A requirement that f-gases are only to be used by, and sold to, trained and certified users.|
|Labelling||A need for products and equipment to carry more information on the CO2e of the f-gas contained within the installation.|
Linde provides a wide range of analysis on the regulations as well as deep-dive reviews of key topics. We have also developed an f-gas calculator tool that can help you understand whether your installation is impacted by the service and maintenance bans, and by the requirements concerning labelling, leak checks and leak detection