The role of HFCs for ozone layer and climate protection

The Netherlands
The role of HFCs in
ozone and climate
Guus Velders (RIVM)
David Fahey (NOAA)
September 18, 2013
Montreal Protocol changed chemicals used
● Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances
● It caused a change in chemicals used for refrigeration, AC, foam
blowing, cleaning, fire extinguishing, etc.:
HCFCs + other techn.
HFCs + other techn.
● Well known benefits for ozone layer
● CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs are all strong greenhouse gases
● GWPs:
– CFCs:
– HCFCs:
– HFCs:
4,700 – 11,000
100 – 2,200
130 – 4,200
Guus Velders
Large climate benefits Montreal Protocol
CO2 emissions
World avoided by
the Montreal Protocol
Reduction Montreal Protocol of
~11 GtCO2-eq/yr
5-6 times Kyoto target
(incl. offsets: HFCs, ozone depl.)
Velders et al., PNAS, 2007
Guus Velders
Expected large growth in HFC use
● CFCs: Global phaseout since 2010
● HCFCs:
– Developed countries: controls since 1996
– Developing countries: controls start in 2013
– Virtually complete phaseout in 2020/2030
 Much of application demand for refrigeration, air
conditioning, heating and thermal-insulating foam
production to be met by HFCs
Montzka, NOAA/ESRL
– Current forcing small (<1% of total GHG forcing)
– Current growth rates of HFCs: 10-15% per year
● Increases directly attributable to Montreal Protocol
● Climate effect is a unintended negative side effect
Photo W.S. Velders
Guus Velders
HFCs offset climate benefits Montreal Protocol
• BAU scenario of HFCs:
• Based on IPCC-SRES
• Observed replacements
• In 2050, HFC emissions:
5.5–8.8 GtCO2-eq yr-1
= 9–19% of global CO2
• In 2010, CFCs could have
reached 15–18 GtCO2-eq yr-1
(in absence of Montreal Protocol)
Velders et al., PNAS, 2009
Guus Velders
Offsets in terms of radiative forcing
● In 2010, reduction due to
Montreal Protocol 0.23 W/m2
(incl. offsets)
● In 2050, forcing HFCs
0.25–0.40 W/m2
– Compared with CO2 (BAU) of
2.9–3.5 W/m2
– Equivalent to that from
6–13 years of CO2 emis.
Guus Velders
What is happening in the political arena
● HFCs not controlled by Montreal Protocol, but included in basket of
gases of Kyoto Protocol
● Amendments proposed to include HFCs in Montreal Protocol
– Support: problem caused by MP; instruments available
– Opposition: no ODS; already in Kyoto; financial/legal concerns
● Climate considerations are in the text of
the Montreal Protocol
● Very recent (Sept. 2013): G20
supports initiatives to use expertise and
institutions of Montreal Protocol to phase
down HFCs
Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea,
Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the
European Union, as well as Ethiopia, Spain, Senegal, Brunei, Kazakhstan, and Singapore.
What is happening in industry (car makers)
● Since 1990s all mobile air-conditioners use
HFC-134a (GWP 1370)
● In EU: mobile air-conditioning directive:
– Refrigerant should have GWP <150
– From 2011 for new type of vehicles
(derogation until 12/2012)
– in 2013: German car maker still use HFC-134a
 France blocks registration of new Mercedes
● Alternatives for HFC-134a:
– HFC-1234yf (more or less drop in replacement)
– CO2 promoted by German EPA (needs redesign of
Guus Velders
Wide range of HFC lifetimes and GWPs
● Fully saturated HFCs:
– HFC-32, -125, -134a, -143a, -152a
– Lifetimes: 1 to 50 yr
– GWPs: 100 to 4000
● Unsaturated HFCs (HFOs):
– HFC-1234yf, -1234ze
– Lifetimes: days to weeks
– GWPs: ~20 or less
● If current HFC mix (lifetime 15 yr)
were replaced by HFCs with
lifetimes less 1 month  forcing
in 2050 less than current HFC
Velders et al., Science, 2012
Guus Velders
Alternatives to ODSs and HFCs
● Replacing high-GWP HFCs with substances with low impact on climate:
– Hydrocarbons, CO2, unsaturated HFCs
– Alternative technologies
● Reducing emissions:
– Changing designs
– Capture and destruction
● Low-climate impact alternatives already available
commercially in several sectors:
Fiber insulation materials (e.g., mineral wool)
Dry powder asthma inhalers
Hydrocarbons, CO2, ammonia in refrigeration systems
Unsaturated HFCs are being introduced for foams, aerosols and mobile AC
● Also important: LCCP, costs, availability, flammability, toxicity, humidity, etc.
Guus Velders
● Climate benefits Montreal Protocol can be
preserved by limiting HFC growth
● Alternatives already commercially
available for several sectors
● Challenge for policymakers: identify how
this can be accomplished
Guus Velders
Thank you for
your attention
HFC-134a and its
main IR-frequency
Velders et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 104, 2007
Velders et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 106, 2009
UNEP: HFC-report, 2011
Velders et al., Science, 335, 922, 2012
Guus Velders
Backup slides
Guus Velders, Aug. 29, 2012
The G-20 agreement on HFCs reads as follows:
We also support complementary initiatives, through multilateral approaches that include using
the expertise and the institutions of the Montreal Protocol to phase down the production and
consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), based on the examination of economically viable and
technically feasible alternatives. We will continue to include HFCs within the scope of UNFCCC
and its Kyoto Protocol for accounting and reporting of emissions.
Second, building on their June 8 accord on HFCs in Sunnylands, President Obama and President
Xi agreed at their bilateral meeting as a next step on HFCs to establish a contact group under
the Montreal Protocol to consider issues related to cost-effectiveness, financial and technology
support, safety, environmental benefits, and an amendment to the Montreal Protocol.
The agreement between President Obama and President Xi on HFCs reads as follows:
We reaffirm our announcement on June 8, 2013 that the United States and China agreed to
work together and with other countries through multilateral approaches that include using the
expertise and institutions of the Montreal Protocol to phase down the production and
consumption of HFCs, while continuing to include HFCs within the scope of UNFCCC and its Kyoto
Protocol provisions for accounting and reporting of emissions. We emphasize the importance of
the Montreal Protocol, including as a next step through the establishment of an open-ended
contact group to consider all relevant issues, including financial and technology support to
Article 5 developing countries, cost effectiveness, safety of substitutes, environmental benefits
and an amendment. We reiterate our firm commitment to work together and with other
countries to agree on a multilateral solution.
Guus Velders, Aug. 29, 2012

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