F-Gas service ban on virgin R404A makes reclaimed refrigerant the best option, says distributor
Now that the F-Gas ban on servicing larger systems with virgin refrigerants with GWP of 2500 or above has come into force, reclaimed refrigerant is the best option for customers still needing higher-GWP gases, says distributor A-Gas.
The ban, which applies to systems with a charge size of 40 t CO2 equivalent or above – around 10 kg of R404A in practical terms – came into force on 1 January, and has led to refrigerant suppliers reducing stocks of virgin R404A and R507 accordingly.
The distributor said in a statement: ”The news that major refrigerant suppliers are removing all stocks of virgin R404A and R507A from sale in the European market reinforces the importance that the switch to reclaimed gases must gain pace if the industry is to manage this change…The F-Gas Regulations allow reclaimed R404A to be used up until 2030, regardless of the charge size. As a refrigerant supplier we have been increasing our capacity to handle reclaimed R404A which we believe will be a stepping stone to the new generation of low GWP refrigerants.”
A-Gas added that it still has ’limited stock’ of virgin R404A for customers working on systems with less than 10 kg of R404A, so advised end users to make the switch to reclaimed gases or low-GWP alternatives as soon as they can. “The demand for reclaimed R404A will grow and this will have an effect on supplies. While low-GWP alternatives are in the long run the preferable choice, reclaimed gases are part of the future as they make use of material that has already been produced, helping to prolong the life of equipment and reducing the burden on producing new, quota restricted, material.”
The company also reiterated the difference between reclaimed and recycled refrigerants:”Recycled refrigerant is a handy quick-fix which is cleaned up and can only be used on site, while reclaimed refrigerant is product that has been reprocessed by a licensed facility to the industry standard AHRI 700 to match that of virgin product. It is purified, certificated and guaranteed to be returned to the same standard as virgin material.”