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Top stories of February

Top 5 Stories of February

Our most-read stories of February include VW’s move to CO2 heat pumps, a petition from PFAS scientists and a new Zero Zone installation.

Despite being the shortest month of the year, February saw a flurry of developments in the natural refrigerants industry.

The European Union finally completed the process of revising its F-gas Regulation, mandating a complete phase-out of HFCs across the bloc by 2050. Volkswagen also revealed that it will move away from HFCs, with the automaker set to install CO2 (R744) heat pumps in all of its battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2030. U.S. OEM Zero Zone also made headlines for one of its latest transcritical CO2 refrigeration system installations.

These were three of the five most-read stories on R744.com in February. The full list is below.

Volkswagen R744 BEV
Credits: ATMOsphere

No. 1: Volkswagen Plans to Convert All Battery Electric Vehicles to R744 by 2030

German automaker Volkswagen revealed its plan to install CO2 heat pumps in all of its BEVs by 2030 in a public comment submitted to the European PFAS Restriction Proposal. In addition to BEVs, the automaker said it is targeting a complete PFAS ban for its hybrid and internal combustion engine models by 2034.

“By converting the refrigerant circuit from F-gas R1234yf to the natural refrigerant R744, PFAS in the refrigerant can be eliminated and thus the PFAS emissions of the vehicles can be significantly reduced,” Volkswagen said.

Read the full story.

PFAS
Image by Ahmad Ardity from Pixabay

No. 2: Over 150 Scientists Urge Adoption of PFAS Definition that Includes F-Gases and TFA

More than 150 scientists with expertise in per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have signed a statement urging government bodies to adopt a science-based definition of PFAS that defines the chemicals as being made up of “at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom” and includes fluorinated (f)-gases and trifluoroacetic acid (TFA), an atmospheric byproduct of certain f-gases. The scientists are targeting government agencies and states, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Delaware and West Virginia, that have a narrower definition of PFAS.

“The carbon-fluorine bond is the strongest single bond in organic chemistry, giving all PFAS the shared trait of persistence, leading to their accumulation in our bodies and ecosystems,” the statement said.

Read the full story.

Zero Zone’s transcritical CO2 system installed outside the supermarket in California. (Source: Zero Zone)
Zero Zone’s transcritical CO2 system installed outside the supermarket in California. (Source: Zero Zone)

No. 3: Zero Zone Installs Transcritical CO2 Refrigeration System for ‘World’s Largest Retailer’

U.S. OEM Zero Zone has installed its Genesys CO2 transcritical refrigeration system at a supermarket in Palmdale, California, operated by “the world’s largest retailer.” The store, which measures 100,000ft2 (9,290m2), has four large walk-in cold rooms and more than 20 remote refrigerated cabinets. The Zero Zone system provides around 140kW (39.8TR) of cooling capacity for the store’s low-temperature applications and 190kW (54TR) for its medium-temperature applications.

“The customer chose CO2 to meet sustainability goals that were driven by their internal GWP initiatives,” Chris McCarty, Zero Zone’s Director of Business Development, told R744.com.

Read the full story.

The Revised EU F-gas Regulation Is Law
The European Union flag waving in the wind. Source: Eurodiaconia.

No. 4: Revised EU F-gas Regulation Is Law

The European Union’s revised F-gas Regulation became law when it was published in the Official Journal of the EU on February 20, with the regulation becoming legally enforceable as of March 11. The revised regulation sets a deadline of 2050 for a complete phase out of HFCs along with specific phase-out dates for the use of HFCs and HFOs in some cooling and heating equipment.

“We are happy that different asks from the progressive side of the industry are included in this final piece of legislation,” said Marc Chasserot, CEO and Founder of ATMOsphere, the publisher of R744.com. “Let’s now work to make this revision a success and ensure natural refrigerants can take over the market.”

Read the full story.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm
U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. Source: U.S. Department of Energy on Flickr.

No. 5: U.S. DOE Announces Additional $63 Million to Speed Up Heat Pump Production

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $63 million (€58.1 million) in funding for manufacturers of residential heat pumps, heat pump water heaters and related systems and components in an effort to accelerate domestic production. The funding is designed to help U.S.-based manufacturers build new commercial-scale production facilities or expand/retrofit existing ones.

“As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to address the climate crisis, [this funding] will further amp up domestic heat pump manufacturing to meet increasing consumer excitement, reduce emissions and create clean energy jobs across the country,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.

Read the full story.

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