The use of fluorinated substances harming the ozone layer has been severely regulated, under the Montreal Protocol, with some substances banned and replaced by HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) and PFCs (perfluorinated compounds). However, these alternative substances are also potent greenhouse gases, and are restricted by the Kyoto Protocol. The emissions of HFC in the EU is increasing, despite a reduction in overall emissions of greenhouse gases. In Poland, HFC emissions in 2014 were 88 times higher than in 1995,due to a rapid increase in use of cooling and air condition devices. The EU Regulation EU 517/2014 puts forward a target for reducing the use of fluorinated greenhouse gases by 80% in 2030. One way of reducing HFC emissions is separation and the conversion of used refrigerants into full-value refrigerants. This will avoid emissions related to the current process of burning waste refrigerants. Effective implementation of such measures requires awareness raising amongst producers, and acceptance by the public.
The overall objective of the Refrigerants LIFE Cycle project is to limit the emission of fluorinated greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector. It is assumed that at the end of the project, an HFC emission reduction of 74 000 t CO2 equivalent/year will be achieved.
Specific objectives of the project are: 1. Execution, testing and implementation of a demonstration installation for separation of waste refrigerant mixtures, to optimise the parameters and validate the technology forits market implementation; 2. Expansion of the refrigerant waste collection system, including the creation of a waste collection point in Czechia and the dissemination of the service within the refrigeration and air conditioning industry in Poland, resulting in the collection of approximately 100 tonnes per year at the end of the project; and 3. Increased awareness of the environmental impacts of emitted refrigerants in the refrigerant and air-conditioning industry, leading to a 30% increase in the number of companies transferring refrigeration waste for processing, involving at least 450 companies.
Expected results: 1. Assembly of demonstration technology for separation of refrigeration waste; 2. Testing and validation of the demonstration technology; 3. Expansion of collection system for refrigeration waste, including containers and an electronic system for storage control; 4. Environmental and social monitoring of the demonstration technology; 5. Promotion of the demonstration technology; 6. Information and awareness raising campaigns with the use of a variety of techniques and communication methods contributing to improve air quality (reduced recorded concentrations and reduced emissions) and public health (reduced cases of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases); 7. Air quality information system in the region with increased civic participation (at least 1 000 people); 8. Involvement of medical services in conducting information and awareness raising campaigns and training of medical personnel; 9. Increased public awareness of the impact of air pollution on the state of environment and public health by 15%; and 10. Increased number of people willing to take action to improve air quality raised by 15%.