Friday, March 30, 2012
R-22 Refrigerant Shortage Anticipated
As an ozone-depleting gas, R-22 has been subject to a federal phase-out that began in 2010 and will proceed through 2020. On Dec. 30, 2011, the EPA published a proposed rule that would remove an additional 30 million to 100 million pounds of R-22 from the marketplace between 2012 and 2014. The final EPA rule will be published later this year.
The EPA is projecting between 27 million and 43 million pounds of R-22 will be reclaimed by users in 2012 — not enough to meet demand, Vogl said. Supply concerns and price increases have “caused a little bit of angst” among retailers, he noted. “Supermarkets are aggressively looking to retrofit away from this refrigerant.”
In selecting a replacement refrigerant, Vogl pointed to several criteria: capacity, efficiency, mass flow, global warming potential, superheat and oil return.