ACR Journal

CMYK / .ai CMYK / .ai CMYK / .ai 19 REFRIGERANTS Where reclamation of used gas is no longer possible or where gas has no further use, A-Gas will dispose of the material responsibility using certified and licensed disposal technologies. Lifecycle refrigerant management (LRM) is an effective and deliverable circular economy solution on the journey to Net Zero. It forces us to seek greater efficiencies and make better use of what we already have. Adopting the practices of LRM is key if our industry is to overcome the hurdles on the road to Net Zero. LRM works in harmony with the Montreal Protocol and helps us achieve our goals faster. It goes beyond the supply of refrigerants. It focuses on saving emissions and prevents the need for vast quantities of virgin refrigerant production. According to industry experts, there are six pillars of LRM that we need to be aware of and adopt: Enhanced product stewardship Responsibility for the environmental management of refrigerants needs to sit higher up the supply chain. Programmes to help gas producers and equipment manufacturers to provide the building blocks for economically and technically feasible LRM are essential. Increase refrigerant recovery, reclamation and re-use There should be more incentives to encourage the recovery, reclamation and re-use of refrigerants. Encouraging the industry to make the most of the gases we already have is a founding principle of the circular economy. Reclamation relies on refrigerant recovery for a steady supply of refrigerant so emphasis must be placed on making recovery of old refrigerant at end of life easy and economical. A-Gas Rapid Recovery, the F-Gas compliant on-site recovery service, is a good example of how having the right equipment can make a difference. Here the ease with which the refrigerants are removed is made possible by our mobile A-Gas Rapid Recovery teams. Leak reduction Improved maintenance and leak reduction make a significant difference as we look to reduce emissions and global warming. Targeting low leak rates is a high priority for LRM because they lead to large climate benefits at a low cost. Tools like Trace-A- Gas from A-Gas, a five per cent hydrogen and 95 per cent nitrogen mixture which is non-flammable, non-toxic and safe for the environment, can help in locating even the smallest of leaks. Reporting and enforcement Stakeholders in the industry must continue to report improper LRM practices in the field, including violations of existing laws regarding refrigerant management. Stricter enforcement of the law and increased reporting of these activities is a must. Workforce development More training is required if we are to ensure that the industry workforce is able to handle the demands of new lower GWP refrigerants, improved leak detection, the re-use of gases and safe environmental disposal when end of life is reached. Equipment and refrigerants are changing at a rapid rate and we need a skilled workforce to handle this. The industry is already looking at ways to share knowledge and improve the skills base but there is much work to do here. Lifecycle refrigerant management is an effective and deliverable circular economy solution Installation and servicing Installation is the starting point of the equipment’s life. LRM cannot be achieved without proper installation and verification. Servicing practices, such as the widespread technique of topping up leaky systems without repairing the underlying leaks, should be discouraged and avoided whenever possible. The six pillars of lifecycle refrigerant management can help guide the industry, not just in the UK, but globally, on the long journey to net zero. As part of this it is imperative that we capture and correctly process all the legacy refrigerants that are in use – otherwise much of the benefits generated by the Montreal Protocol will suffer. Around the world, no kilogram of refrigerant once produced, should be allowed to go to the atmosphere. As an industry we need to do all we can to achieve this. Our climate goals are ambitious but together we can.

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