The US EPA has added new lower GWP refrigerants and expanded the acceptable uses of others in latest changes to the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) programme.
As expected, R407H has been listed as acceptable for use in both new and retrofit retail food refrigeration remote condensing units. The availability of test samples of the new refrigerant blend has been announced for OEMs. The new refrigerant blend is claimed to be able to replace R404A and R22. Marketed in the US under the trade name D407, R407H is a blend of R134a, R32 and R125 and has a GWP of around 1500.
Also listed as acceptable for use in new and retrofit retail food refrigeration remote condensing units is R442A, a blend of R32, R125, R134a, R152a and HFCR227ea. Formerly known as RS-50, it has a GWP of around 1890, and is already listed as an acceptable refrigerant in a number of other refrigeration and air conditioning end-uses.
The new SNAP listing also extends the use of R404A replacements R448A, R449A, and R449B to applications in both new and retrofit cold storage and industrial process refrigeration equipment. All three are already listed for a number of other uses.
The lower GWP refrigerant R452A, marketed as Opteon XP44, is listed for the first time as an acceptable substitute for use in refrigerated trucks and trailers and remote retail condensing units as both a new and retrofit gas. With its GWP of around 2140, it is already being adopted in Europe as a replacement for R404A in refrigerated transport. A rival refrigerant, R452C, receives the same usage listing.
Already adopted as an alternative to R134a in chillers, R513A has now additionally been listed for use domestic dehumidifiers, in both new and retrofit equipment.
R453A has been SNAP listed for use in cold storage warehouses, Industrial process refrigeration and remote condensing units in retail food refrigeration applications, in new and retrofit equipment.
Finally, R458A, has been approved for use in industrial process refrigeration and remote condensing units in retail food refrigeration in both new and retrofit equipment, and as a retrofit in domestic and light commercial air conditioning and heat pumps.
While seeing the new listings as “a positive signal” that the SNAP programme was moving towards more environmentally friendly refrigerants, the environmental group EIA was critical of some of the new gases. Avipsa Mahapatra, the EIA’s Climate Campaign lead, said: “Several of the refrigerants listed as acceptable in this notice have high-GWPs such as R452C (GWP 2,220) and R442A (GWP 1,890) and will not be the most sustainable choices in a world that is increasingly moving as close to a 0 GWP as possible. Smart companies around the world are already using much lower GWP refrigerants for these very end uses.”