U.S. June 12, 2020: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed adding air conditioner refrigerant R32 and five other A2L refrigerants to smaller air-conditioning units to replace refrigerant gas R410A, thereby reducing GWP.
The EPA recommends that lower GWP, "lightly flammable" refrigerant S32 and acceptable R452B, R454A, R454B, R454C and R457A be included in the SNAP list for use in new residential and light commercial air conditioners and heat pumps.
SNAP (an important new alternative policy) has been established to identify and evaluate alternatives to ozone-depleting substances. The list approves and prohibits the use of chemicals in a variety of consumer and industrial applications.
The EPA proposes that these refrigerants be used only in new, stand-alone split air conditioning equipment specifically designed for refrigerantuse. The amount of loading is limited, including higher ventilation requirements, refrigerant leak sensors, alarms and automatic shut-off valves. In addition, the proposal provides for the inclusion of many safety and flammability warning labels both inside and outside the equipment.
The R32 is a single-component refrigerant with a GLOBAL warming potential of 675 and has been used globally by most all-in-one equipment manufacturers as a major alternative to the R410A. Since 2015, it has been listed by SNAP as a new self-contained room air conditioner in the United States.
The other five refrigerants are a mixture of different quantities of R32, R125, R1234yf and R152a. A refrigerant R457A is manufactured by Arkema and sold as Aane 457A. The others are Comu gas: R452B, also known as Opteon XL 55, R454A (Opteon XL 40), R454B (Opteon XL 41) and R454C (Opteon XL 20).