What the F-gases!?

2022-10-24

“What are F-gases?”, you might ask. Although you may not have heard this term before, you surely know of them. They’ve acted as cooling chemicals in air conditioners and refrigerators since they were first developed in the 1930’s. But the question is to what cost?

Freons. You know the ones that were in your fridge when you were young but later got banned when it was found out that freons lead to depletion of the ozone layer? This was the first generation of fluorinated and chlorinated refrigerants — or F-gases — developed back in the 1930’s to solve the world’s cooling needs.

History repeats itself

When they were targeted by the Montreal Protocol in 1987 due to their environmental impact, a second generation of F-gases was born — the so-called HFCs. The old-timers were replaced with the newcomers, but it turned out to be a very unfortunate substitution since HFCs have a very high global warming potential (GWP).

Having tried two fluorinated ways to destroy the planet via air conditioning, it was time to try a third one — HFOs — when it was decided to phase out HFCs through the F-gas regulation in 2015. And, as sad as it seems, we now have yet another regrettable substitution on our hands.

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Chemsec, 24-10-22
; https://chemsec.org/what-the-f-gases