Refrigerant gas R22 — the chilling effects of a European ban

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As a result of the Montreal Protocol, the European Union is now committed to reducing harmful emissions across the continent, with the focus of recent regulation set on plant and machinery installed within buildings.

Previous efforts stemming from the EU ODS (Ozone Depleting Substances) Regulation 2009 have seen the rapid phasing out of chlorofluorocarbons used in appliances such as fridges. That focus has now shifted to a gradual phasing out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons, which are currently used in air conditioning systems (AC) in the form of refrigerant gas R22. In 2004, the use of new (virgin) R22 in any new AC systems was prohibited. That was followed in 2010 with a ban on using virgin R22 to maintain existing AC systems. Today, only recycled R22 can be used to maintain such  equipment, although the scarcity of this supply has meant that obtaining it comes at a premium…

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