Knowledge Centre – Passive Strategies

Environmental Impact of Refrigerants
Environmental Impact

Characteristics of Possible Next-Generation Refrigerants (for Residential and Commercial Air Conditioners)
(Source: Daikin-Low Environmental Impact Refrigerants)

HCFCs are commonly used as refrigerants in air-conditioning and refrigeration systems in buildings. As per the Montreal Protocol schedule for developing countries, HCFCs will be completely phased out by 2040. HFCs are being used as replacement to HCFCs. However due to high GWP, HFCs are considered as potent greenhouse gases and hence are controlled under the Kyoto Protocol. Some of the key reasons for ozone depletion is as below:

  • Leakage of ODSs from air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment during manufacturing, installation and operation
  • End of life recovery and destruction
  • Direct CO2-eq emissions.

Key refrigerants available in the market are listed below. Each refrigerant has different ODP and GWP. Based on the global warming and ozone depletion potential, best refrigerant should be used for all commercial purposes.

Table: Refrigerants used in conventional chillers and their environmental impact.

Refrigerant ODP GWP Application
CFC-11 1 4600 Centrifugal chillers
CFC-12 0.82 10600 Freezers, chillers, air conditioners
HFC-410 0 2000 Air conditioning
HCF-134a 0 1600 CFC-12 replacement
HCFC-123 0.012 120 CFC-12 replacement