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Refrigerant Management & Destruction

Category: HVAC

Refrigerant management refers to practices aimed at mitigating leaks from refrigerants and destroying these substances at the end of their useful life. In this solution, we refer to refrigerants and other ozone depleting substances (ODS), because they are very similar as non-CO2 gases with potent greenhouse gas potential. This includes chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and halons used in fire suppressants. Because their warming potential can be thousands of times more potent than CO2, managing such gasses can have a great impact – both on campus emissions and global fugitive emissions that the campus may not be tracking.

Benefits

  • High impact
  • Easy to implement
  • Low lift on campus

Challenges

  • The campus needs to inventory relevant materials
  • Depending on what the campus is currently doing with various gases, there may be a cost for responsibly destroying the substance

Reference: https://drawdown.org/solutions/refrigerant-management

Infographic of a leaky canister of refrigerant being transported for destruction

Impacts

  • GHG Impact

    Large

    These gases have a high global warming potential, managing and destroying them has a significant impact.

  • Economic Impact

    Neutral

    It depends on the material, what the campus is doing with it now, and what it pursues in management and destruction.

  • Feasibility

    Very Achievable

  • Timeline

    < 1 year

    When the gasses are available, the material can be collected and destroyed very quickly. Inventorying material can also go very quickly.

  • Maintenance

    Low / None

    Other than inventorying the material, there is very little the campus needs to do.

  • Publicity

    Under the radar

    It’s a big deal, but is not directly visible on campus.

Refrigerant Management & Destruction Providers