Impacting Cfcs

For years, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were used in air-conditioning and refrigeration systems. However, because CFCs are implicated in the depletion of the earth's ozone layer, regulations required the complete phaseout of the production of new CFCs by the turn of the century. Many companies, like DuPont, developed alternative refrigerants to replace CFCs. The need for alternatives will become even greater as regulatory cutbacks cause continuing CFC shortages.

Air-conditioning and refrigeration systems designed to operate with CFCs will need to be retrofitted (where possible) to operate with alternative refrigerants so that these systems can remain in use for their intended service life.

DuPont and other companies are commercializing their series of alternatives—hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) and hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) compounds. See Table 20.1.

The Montreal Protocol which is being implemented by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) is a worldwide approach to the phaseout of CFCs. A major revision to the Montreal Protocol was implemented at the 1992 meeting in Copenhagen which accelerated the phaseout schedule.

The reader is advised to carefully consider both the "alternate" refrigerants entering the market place and the alternate technologies available. Alternate refrigerants come in the form of HCFCs and HFCs. HFCs have the attractive attribute of having no impact on the ozone layer (and correspondingly are not named in the Clean Air Act). Alternative technologies include absorption and ammonia refrigeration (established technologies since the early 1900's), as well as desiccant cooling.

Taxes on CFCs originally took effect January 1,

Table 20.1 Candidate Alternatives for CFCs in Existing Cooling Systems
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