22 May 2002

B6-01 LCA Study of Air Conditioners with an Alternative Refrigerant

In the refrigeration and air conditioning industry, technologies to reduce environmental impact, such as global warming, ozone-layer depletion, and discharging industrial wastes, are getting much attention nowadays. This paper reports the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) conducted to analyze two air conditioner units for residential use comparatively. One is a traditional model with HCFC22 being used for its refrigerant and the other is with HFC410A, that is considered to be a promising alternative for HCFC22 for now since it possesses no ozone-layer depleting potential when being emitted. As a result, the ozone-layer depleting effect can be eliminated completely by using HFC410A. In addition, the global warming effect gets reduced to a certain extent by using HFC410A, and furthermore, it gets reduced considerably by treating used refrigerants with a proper waste management. Moreover, a model with HFC32 as a refrigerant is compared to the one with HFC410A. It is proved that HFC32 is more effective refrigerant to reduce environmental burden that includes global warming effect.