Many years ago, it was determined that the ozone layer was being destroyed by refrigerants. As a result of that finding, a refrigerant called Freon was designated to be discontinued. There are less than a few years, at the time of this writing, before this refrigerant will be illegal to use. Also known as R-22, it has been slowly replaced by other refrigerants that can perform the same or even better. There are also refrigerants that have directly caused the greenhouse effect to get worse. Here is an overview of what these refrigerants are and what can be done to prevent them from causing further damage.
Do Refrigerants Really Damage The Environment?
If you have a refrigerator, air conditioner, or any other type of device that provides cold air, it is using some type of a refrigerant. In general, any type of chlorofluorocarbon will cause damage to the ozone layer, but there are still others that are considered to be very potent greenhouse gases. One in particular called R410a has been shown to act like greenhouse gases. For example, if you have a single kilogram of this refrigerant released into the air, it will do as much damage as 2 tons of carbon dioxide. By comparison, this single kilogram of this coolant is like driving your car for half a year. There are many countries, including Australia, that prohibit these CFC like gases from coming into their country. All of these statistics do not even take into account leakage that can be common on appliances such as freezers or refrigerators.
What Can Be Done To Stop This Problem
In the same way that Freon stimulated the development of alternative CFCs, the same can be done for R410a, considered to be the largest problem in regard to the greenhouse effect. Many people have asked if there is a replacement for this particular refrigerant. One way that people are getting around this is to use gases like CO2 or ammonia, yet these also cause problems. You would not want to have vast amounts of carbon dioxide flowing into the air, or even ammonia, as this would exacerbate the greenhouse effect even more. As science continues to develop new refrigerants, they are carefully monitoring how they can affect our environment. The coolants that they create need to be just as viable, yet without all of the problems that it can cause. Another strategy that is being used is to develop machinery that is much more efficient. For example, they could use smaller amounts of coolants yet achieve the same final result. These are just a few of the many things that experts are working on in order to combat the increase in the greenhouse effect.
Is The Greenhouse Effect Natural Or Man-Made?
The opponents to the replacement of these problematic coolants often say they are not causing the problem at all. They will avoid looking at science, and they will simply state that this is a natural occurrence. They believe that the greenhouse effect is simply part of natural cycles. Although it is true that the greenhouse effect can be cyclical, when compared with the advent of man, and the creation of these coolants, there is a definitive correlation between their appearance and the greenhouse effect getting out of control. Recent studies have shown that we have very few years to handle this problem. Meanwhile, detractors will simply say that it will correct itself.
What Are The Alternative Coolants They Are Proposing?
Coolants such as R-32, R-454B and TdX20 from Bluon Energy are just a few of the ones they are considering. They are actually thinking about combining different coolants with propane. However, this seems to be a nonsensical solution. To imagine that you are cooling your home using a gas that is that flammable, it is confusing why they would think that is a good idea. However, science is undeterred. Experts are constantly experimenting with new replacements, and we will eventually have a multitude of options that will effectively help the greenhouse effect go down.
Why Modification Should Be Made
For those that are not focused on finding new coolants, they are considering modifications to existing and new equipment. As mentioned before, if these units could be made to be much more efficient, then it is probable that the amount of coolant that is used will be much smaller. Even if the coolants that they develop have some small effect, if there is no leakage, and there is a higher level of efficiency with the equipment, this is going to benefit our world. We are on the verge of not being able to use certain coolants, therefore alternative strategies must be developed so we can keep using these units and appliances that are helping to keep things cool.
What Is The Best Option?
Just like the replacement for Freon, to replace coolants that can affect the greenhouse effect, we need to focus on hydrochlorofluorocarbons. In some cases, people are turning to R410a, a blend of different chemicals that can act as a coolant and will not have a detrimental effect on the climate. Another one is called DR-55. It is thought to be the one replacement that will work the best. It is very similar to R32, yet it actually has a much higher level of efficiency, which is why so many scientists and individuals are recommending it. At this point, it’s not about competition. We are in a race to resolve these issues so that, on a global scale, it can be beneficial. There are over 6 billion people on this planet, many of which are using devices that utilize these harmful coolants. By making these changes now, we can potentially preserve our future.
This brief overview of the refrigerants that are causing the greenhouse effect, and there replacements, should give you a general idea of where we stand. It is very easy to imagine that all of this will be resolved, yet it’s actually not that simple. It takes a great deal of effort, research, and testing to come up with these replacements. At some point in the future, we will have much more efficient units that produce cold air, and they will be using alternative coolants that will help us with these immediate problems.