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HCFC gases - Study shows 65% of cooling installations still use HCFC gases

8 years after introduction of legislation, and with only 17 months left before ban, study shows 65% of cooling installations* still use HCFC gases

The results of a new study sponsored by refrigerants manufacturer, DuPont, show that 65% of cooling installations in 9 key EU markets* continue to function on HCFC refrigerant gases, raising questions about the level of preparedness in the market for the EU ban on virgin** HCFCs. The ban, based on EU legislation introduced in 2000 following on from the Montreal Protocol, will be introduced from January 2010.

Photo: DuPont
While 67% of survey respondents have shifted to use of HFCs in some or all of their systems, a full 65% still had installations running on HCFCs.

Spanning across industry sectors representing the largest users of refrigerants, the survey’s respondents use various types of cooling installations, all of which still contain significant banks of HCFCs, ranging from 57% of chillers (lowest) to 76% of air conditioning installations (highest). Although awareness levels of the legislation are high – 90% of respondents claimed to be aware of the impending ban – the large banks of HCFCs that remain suggest that this has not been coupled with a sense of urgency to ensure compliance; of those who have not yet taken action, 17% claim to have no intention to do so.

With an estimated 130,000 tons of HCFC gases still in use throughout several million installations across the EU, primarily in the form of R22, tens of thousands of these installations will need to be serviced every week in order to ensure compliance by 2010. For companies that are reliant on refrigeration, delayed action – or inaction - can pose a threat to business. The large number of remaining HCFC banks means that as more and more businesses begin to react to the legislative imperatives in the run-up to 2010, there will be a significant strain on contractor services. Furthermore, manufacturers are expected to scale down their production of HCFCs from mid-2009. These twin factors threaten to create a bottleneck, incurring costs for businesses that delay their response.

A number of HCFC users intend to wait for the ban on recycled HCFCs to be introduced in 2015, in the belief that there will be a sufficient supply of reclaimed R22. However, given the high cost of the recycling process, current projections place the availability of recycled R22 at only 15% of the amount needed to service remaining installations using HCFCs.

DuPont is conducting an informational campaign on the EU ban on HCFCs to help users understand its implications and the options that are available to them. DuPont has also developed its own solution for cost-effective retrofit of installations in the form of ISCEON® HFC Refrigerants. Further information on the campaign initiative is available at the website

For further information on the wakeup2phaseout campaign, please contact Anna Riley at or on +32 (0)2 674 22 58.

* Based on a cross-industry study in 9 key EU markets (UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and Poland) between April and June 2008.

** Virgin hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) can be defined as those that have never previously been placed on the market.

DuPont Fluorochemicals is a leading global supplier of refrigerants, using science and technology, market knowledge and global reach to provide sustainable materials and solutions to enhance personal comfort, enable food preservation, improve industrial processing and reduce environmental footprints.

DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

The DuPont Oval, DuPont™, The miracles of science™, and ISCEON® are registered trademarks or trademarks of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company or its affiliates.


Editorial Contact
Horst Ulrich Reimer
Phone: ++49 (0) 61 72/87-1297
Fax: ++49 (0) 61 72/87-1266

Horst Ulrich Reimer | Du Pont
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