What are F-gases?

Fluorinated gases ('F-gases') are a family of man-made gases used in a range of industrial applications. Because they do not damage the atmospheric ozone layer, they are often used as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances. However, F-gases are powerful greenhouse gases, with a global warming effect up to 23 000 times greater than carbon dioxide (CO2), and their emissions are rising strongly.F-Gas-Regulations

CFC's like R12 were banned in the 1990's.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are used in various sectors and applications, such as refrigerants in refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump equipment; as blowing agents for foams; as solvents; and in fire extinguishers and aerosols. HCFC's like R22 was previously commonly used in air conditioning systems was banned in 2001 or 2004 for small air conditioning systems. Until 2009 it was legal to service and maintain air conditioning equipment with this but since then new regulations have been introduced. See below.

Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) are typically used in the electronics sector (for example for plasma cleaning of silicon wafers) as well as in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry. In the past PFCs were also used in fire extinguishers and can still be found in older fire protection systems.

Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) is used mainly as an insulating gas, in high voltage switchgear and in the production of magnesium and aluminium.

New F-gas Regulation from 2015

The original F-gas Regulation, adopted in 2006, is being replaced by a new Regulation adopted in 2014 which applies from 1 January 2015. This strengthens the existing measures and introduces a number of far-reaching changes by:

Limiting the total amount of the most important F-gases that can be sold in the UK from 2015 onwards and phasing them down in steps to one-fifth of 2014 sales in 2030. This will be the main driver of the move towards more climate-friendly technologies;

Banning the use of F-gases in many new types of equipment where less harmful alternatives are widely available, such as fridges in homes or supermarkets, air conditioning and foams and aerosols;

Preventing emissions of F-gases from existing equipment by requiring checks, proper servicing and recovery of the gases at the end of the equipment's life.

Energy Efficiency – capital costs of commercial and industrial refrigeration and air-conditioning systems are typically around 20% of the total lifetime costs. The benefits of replacing an old system with a new energy-efficient system should be assessed. New options such as free-cooling can be specified to provide significant on-going savings.

R134A is a single hydrofluorocarbon or HFC compound. It has no chlorine content, no ozone depletion potential, and only a modest global warming potential. - ODP = 0, GWP = 1300

R407C is a ternary blend of hydrofluorocarbon or HFC compounds, comprising 23% of R32, 25% of R125 and 52% of R134a. It has no chlorine content, no ozone depletion potential, and only a modest direct global warming potential. - ODP = 0, GWP = 1610

R410A is a binary blend of hydrofluorocarbon or HFC compounds, comprising 50% of R32 and 50% of R125) it has no chlorine content, no ozone depletion potential, and only a modest global warming potential. - ODP = 0, GWP 1890

R417A is the zero ODP replacement for R22 suitable for new equipment and as a drop-in replacement for existing systems.

There are currently no restrictions on equipment or use of the following refrigerants: R134A, R407C, R410A, and R417A.