Monday, April 8, 2019

Risk Assessment of Mildly Flammable Refrigerants

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While great successes have been achieved in climate change mitigation, global emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise. Greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels are the main issue, but emissions of fluorocarbon refrigerants from refrigeration and air conditioning appliances should not be ignored because of the large global warming potential (GWP) of fluorocarbons.

The progressively more severe impact of fluorocarbon refrigerants makes the need for urgent action abundantly clear. The basic measure to reduce the impact of refrigerants is the replacement of conventional hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) with low-GWP refrigerants. Low-GWP refrigerants are not very stable in atmosphere and thus are sometimes flammable. According to Japan’s High Pressure Gas Safety Act, the use of flammable refrigerants in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment is restricted in practice. For the safe use of flammable refrigerants and relaxation of the regulation, a risk assessment needs to be performed; only a scientific risk assessment can provide a sound basis for judgment and change in regulation.
1. Introduction
2. Legal issues with mildly flammable refrigerant
3. Research on safety of mildly flammable refrigerants
4. Progress of the Japan Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Industry Association (JRAIA)
5. Deregulation Activities in Japan for the Introduction of Mobile Air Conditioning Refrigerant R1234yf

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