Technological Innovations on the Design of New Refrigerants, Energy-Efficient Cooling Systems, and Refrigerant Recovery Processes
Symposium Organizers: Mark Shiflett, University of Kansas; Edward Maginn, University of Notre Dame; Ichiro Takeuchi, University of Maryland; David Vicic, Lehigh University; Haoran Sun,University of South Dakota, and; Ralf Kaiser, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Refrigeration and air-conditioning systems are widespread throughout modern society, from the refrigerated cold chain that provides fresh foods and storage of medicines to the air conditioning of homes and buildings. In 1987, the Montreal Protocol phased out chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerants because of their high ozone depletion potential (ODP). The replacements, typically mixtures of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), are safe for the Earth’s ozone layer, but most have high global warming potentials (GWPs). HFCs account for 7.8% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, with 63% of that from “indirect” emissions (i.e., energy for running the system). As a result, 197 countries signed the Kigali agreement in 2016 to phase out high-GWP HFCs and more recently the the AIM Act, which was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, directs EPA to phase down production and consumption of HFCs in the United States by 85 percent over the next 15 years. A global HFC phasedown is expected to avoid up to 0.5° Celsius of global warming by 2100. The symposium will focus on technological innovations for the design of new refrigerants, cooling technologies, and refrigerant recovery processes to shift the refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) industry towards a more circular economy with lower environmental impact.