A suitable replacement for CFCs?

One of the most widely-used replacements for CFCs is a chemically-similar group called HFCs (Hydro-Fluoro-Carbons).

These compounds contain hydrogen atoms rather than chlorine, and are often marketed as ‘environmentally-friendly’ due to their negligible contribution to ozone layer depletion. However, these gases are anything but eco-friendly; all F-gases are contributors to climate change.

What are HFCs used for?

HFCs have many uses through a wide range of industries. Their main applications are in air temperature control, refrigeration and aerosols. Almost 90% of HFC application is within the refrigeration and air conditioning industries, with car air con at the top of the list.

How are HFCs released into the atmosphere?

HFCs are introduced into the atmosphere differently to carbon dioxide. CO2 is released upon the burning (or combustion) of materials whereas HFCs are almost entirely contained within hardware.

In most instances, it is during decommissioning and disposal that HFCs are introduced into the environment. This occurs most commonly from fridges and air conditioner units. It is estimated that around 60% of worldwide emissions originate from leaking hardware reservoirs.

Green Thermal Energy offers an alternative

Many of Green Thermal Energy’s systems use only carbon dioxide as the refrigerant. This naturally-occurring gas makes a very minimal contribution to climate change whilst also preventing any further damage to the Earth’s ozone layer.

To learn more about HFCs and their role in global warming and climate change, please read this Greenpeace article.

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