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A innovative industrial process for production of low-GWP refrigerants for industrial refrigeration and air conditioning

Reference: LIFE16 CCM/IT/000027 | Acronym: LIFE-IREPRO

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

BACKGROUND

Industrial refrigerants, mainly hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), are an integral part of industrial society, being the main chemical components for systems such air conditioning and food processing. Industrial refrigeration is a sector worth €5 billion to the EU economy and was expected to grow by 6% from 2015 to 2020. HFCs, as a source of greenhouse gas emissions, are considered harmful to the environment. In most sectors suing HFCs, alternatives like hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs), carbon dioxide , ammonia, hydrocarbons and blends are more attractive because they have lower global warming potential than HFCs. Nevertheless, the area of alternative and sustainable climate-friendly gases in the refrigeration sector remains largely unexplored, and widely accepted alternatives are lacking.


OBJECTIVES

The LIFE-IREPRO project intends to demonstrate the sustainability and efficiency of a highly innovative batch process for the production of novel climate-friendly gases comprising hydrocarbons (i.e. selected mixtures of two or more components among ethane propane, propylene, butane, isobutane, butene/isobutene and dimethylether) for industrial refrigeration applications and characterised by much lower global warming potential than current options. The project will revolutionise the production process of industrial gases by rethinking the distillation step, by turning a traditional high-cost, inflexible production process to a flexible, secure, cost- and energy-efficient one, by restructuring the blending system to achieve products with more than 99% purity.

The new process will overcome strong technological barriers that have so far limited the uptake of hydrocarbon-based climate-friendly alternatives, notably cost, poor versatility, the presence of unwanted by-products, and the safe treatment and manipulation of highly flammable gases. Importantly, it will lead to a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and energy use.

The project addresses numerous EU policy priority areas in the energy, climate, chemicals and water sectors. The project intends to contribute to climate change mitigation by demonstrating sustainable and climate-friendly solutions in the chemical industry, in compliance with the aforementioned regulations.

Expected results:

  • Reduction of the utilisation of HFC gases in compliance with EU regulation;
  • Removal of barriers to the use of climate-friendly to replace HFCs by contributing to the implementation and upgrade of the dedicated regulations;
  • EU competitiveness and industrial leadership in advanced chemical processing boosted;
  • Replacement of HFC and alternative fluorinated gases with novel gases by up to 80 tonnes per year;
  • Reduction of up to 99% of greenhouse gas emissions from HFCs (corresponding to more than 136 000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year) through substitution with novel climate-friendly alternatives;
  • Reduction of water consumption by 100% (1 400 m3 per year);
  • Energy saving of 66% (196 416 kWh per year, amounting to more than 70 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year) by completely rethinking and simplifying the industrial process;
  • Cost savings of 20% for each new product introduced to the market;
  • Employment opportunities created in the sector;
  • Support for the implementation of new standards and regulations on HFC alternatives;
  • Raised awareness among a wider audience of the importance of alternatives to HFCs;
  • Further technological developments encouraged by transferring, replicating and eventually mainstreaming the project results.

  • ADMINISTRATIVE DATA


    Reference: LIFE16 CCM/IT/000027
    Acronym: LIFE-IREPRO
    Start Date: 01/07/2017
    End Date: 31/03/2022
    Total Budget: 2,930,153 €
    EU Contribution: 1,692,729 €
    Project Location:

    CONTACT DETAILS


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Tazzetti S.P.A.
    Legal Status: PCO
    Address: Corso Europa 600A, 10088, Volpiano, Italia
    Contact Person: Riccardo MONDINO
    Email: Riccardo.Mondino@tazzetti.com
    Tel: +39 011 9702525, +39 340 634 2753
    Website: http://www.tazzetti.it


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    BENEFICIARIES

    Name Type
    Tazzetti S.P.A. Coordinator
    RISE Research Institutes of Sweden [formerly known as SP Sveriges tekniska froskringsinstitut AB], Sweden Participant

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