About HFCville

HFC village map

Hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, are man-made greenhouse gases that are used as replacements to ozone depleting substances (ODS) in a variety of commonplace applications such as refrigeration and air conditioning. These chemicals have global warming potentials (GWPs) that are approximately 100 to 4,500 times greater than carbon dioxide (CO2). Although HFCs currently represent a small portion of total greenhouse gases (i.e., less than one percent), their emissions are rapidly increasing in response to the continued phaseout of ODS and the increasing demand for products that have traditionally relied on ODS, particularly in developing nations. Left unabated, emissions of HFCs are projected to increase nearly twentyfold in the next three decades. 1

HFCville is an interactive application that illustrates where HFCs are commonly used and where lower GWP substances and alternative technologies are readily available. Click on items in HFCville to learn more about where HFCs can be replaced to reduce emissions and overall impact on climate. Hover over the icons in the pop-up boxes for each substance to find information on the use of the substance, the U.S. EPA SNAP program status, and the GWP.

1 U.S. EPA. 2014. Recent International Developments Under the Montreal Protocol: 2014 North American Amendment Proposal to Address HFCs under the Montreal Protocol. Available at http://www.epa.gov/ozone/intpol/mpagreement.html

Glossary

Term Definition
Aqueous Cleaning A not-in-kind technology that involves a multi-staged process of washing with a water-based cleaning solution and specialty designed equipment to remove contaminants.
Available An agent or technology is defined as available if its use is technically feasible. Although technically feasible, some low-GWP options may not be economically or legally available in some regions.
Cascade System A type of multiplex rack system consisting of two independent refrigeration systems that share a common cascade heat exchanger.
Centralized Direct Expansion System A type of multiplex rack system in which the compressor racks are located in a central location such as machine room.
Charge size The quantity of refrigerant in a system.
Chiller A type of air conditioning system that removes heat from water which is then used to remove heat from the cooling air.
Cold Storage Refrigerated warehouses and cold store rooms used to store meat, produce, dairy products, and other perishable goods.
Condensing Unit System A type of [remote system]79) that consists of one or two compressors, one condenser, and one receiver assembled into a single system, which is linked to remotely-located cases and coolers through a piping network.
Cryogenic System A refrigerated system, also referred to as an "open-loop" system, used in refrigerated transport applications that cools cargo by injection of stored liquid carbon dioxide or nitrogen to the cargo space or evaporator.
Dehumidifier A type of refrigerated appliance used to remove water vapor from ambient air.
Distribution Direct Expansion System A type of multiplex rack system in which the compressor racks are located close to the cases and coolers that they serve.
Dry Powder Inhaler A non-pressurized, small, portable delivery system that contains a micronized dry powder and drug agent, which is inhaled by and deposited in the lungs of patients suffering from asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Electronics Cleaning The process of removing contaminants such as flux residue and handling soils and particulates from electronics or circuit boards after a soldering operation.
Eutectic Plates A refrigeration technology used in refrigerated transport applications that uses a frozen salt solution to remove heat from the environment as it melts.
Extruded Polystyrene Boardstock A type of extruded polystyrene foam, it is one of the most common kinds of rigid boardstock foams, used primarily for floor, wall, and roof insulation due to its moisture-resistant properties.
Foam A material consisting of either discrete or connected cells (i.e., bubbles) that is used in insulating applications (e.g., refrigerated appliances and buildings) or non-insulating applications (e.g., life vests, buoys furniture, and shoes), respectively.
Foam Blowing Agent A substance used in chemical or physical processes to generate gas expansion in a solid substance in order to produce foam.
Global Warming Potential A measure of the total energy that a gas absorbs over a particular period of time (usually 100 years), compared to carbon dioxide. The larger the GWP, the more warming the gas causes.
Hermetic/Semi-Hermetic Vapor Compression System A type of system used in refrigerated transport applications that uses a hermetic (i.e., welded shut) or semi-hermetic (i.e., sealed but not welded) compressor.
Industrial Process Refrigeration Complex, customized refrigeration systems used in the chemical, pharmaceutical, petrochemical, and manufacturing industries.
Intermodal container A refrigerated container that allows for uninterrupted storage in refrigerated transport applications, including railways, road trucks, and ships.
Metal Cleaning The process of removing contaminants such as cutting oils, grease, or metal filings from metal parts.
Metered-Dose Inhaler A pharmaceutical aerosol device that contains a drug agent and a propellant, the latter of which delivers the drug into the lungs of patients suffering from asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Motor Vehicle Air Conditioning (MVAC) System An air conditioning system that provides comfort cooling to the passenger compartment in a moving vehicle.
Multiplex Rack System A type of remote refrigeration system that consists of racks of multiple compressors and other components, which are linked to remotely-located cases and coolers through a piping network.
No Clean Technology A not-in-kind technology that involves low-solids solder fluxes or pastes and controlled inert atmospheres, negating the need for the cleaning of electronic assemblies.
Non-Metered-Dose Inhaler Aerosol Propellant Appliances that use liquefied or compressed gas to propel active ingredients in liquid, paste, or powder form in precise spray patterns with controlled droplet sizes and amounts.
Not-In-Kind Technologies, processes, or substances that can achieve the same product objective without the use of ozone depleting substances or greenhouse gases, typically by using an alternative approach or unconventional technique.
Polyurethane Boardstock A type of rigid foam that is applied as a layer spanning across a surface for wall, roof, or floor insulation in commercial or industrial buildings.
Polyurethane Continuous Panel A type of rigid foam formed by a continuous process that uses a horizontal laminator to create pre-fabricated foam panels. Typically used as roof and wall insulation, cladding of commercial and industrial buildings, and applications requiring constant temperatures and hygienic environments.
Polyurethane Pipe-in-Pipe A type of rigid foam that is produced in-situ, between a steel pipe and outer casing for insulation.
Polyurethane Spray Foam A type of foam used for insulation that is propelled into cavities through the use of portable application devices; typically used to retrofit roofs or to provide insulation to irregular surfaces.
Precision Cleaning An essential process of cleaning to a specific grade of cleanliness in order for products to maintain their value in technical application and for safe operation in applications such as aircraft production, maintenance, and repair.
Propellant A pressurized liquid used in aerosol products to propel active ingredients in liquid, paste, or powder form in precise spray patterns with controlled droplet sizes and amounts.
Reach-in Freezer and Refrigerator A type of self-contained system whose purpose it is to hold refrigerated or frozen food products.
Refrigerant A substance capable of absorbing heat from one area and rejecting it to another, usually through evaporation and condensation, respectively.
Refrigerated Appliance A piece of equipment designed to store perishable goods at a desired temperature.
Refrigerated Transport Refrigerated ship holds, truck trailers, railway freight cars, and other shipping containers used to move products from one place to another while maintaining necessary temperatures.
Refrigerated Vending Machine A type of self-contained system that is used to hold and dispense goods that must be kept cold or frozen.
Remote System A type of refrigeration system in which the compressor and condenser are located away from the evaporator and/or other parts of the system.
Secondary Loop System A type of multiplex rack system that uses a primary refrigerant to cool a secondary fluid, which is then used to indirectly remove heat from remotely-located cases and coolers.
Self-contained System A type of refrigeration system that integrates all components within its structure.
Semi-Aqueous Cleaning A not-in-kind technology that uses a cleaning solution, often a hydrocarbon/surfactant combination, followed by a water wash and rinse and specialty designed equipment to remove contaminants.
Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program A U.S. EPA program established in 1994 to evaluate and regulate substitutes for ozone-depleting substances in accordance with Section 612(c) of the Clean Air Act.
Solvent A liquid substance that is used to dissolve another substance.
Sterilant A substance that kills microorganisms on medical equipment and devices.
Streaming Application The use of a fire extinguishing agent in portable fire extinguishers.
Total Flooding System A system that applies a fire extinguishing agent to an enclosed space, automatically dispersing the agent at a specific concentration to extinguish the fire.
Transcritical System A type of multiplex rack system that uses CO2 as the primary refrigerant and operates at a high pressure to accommodate the low critical temperature of CO2.
UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization
Unitary Air Conditioner A type of air conditioning system that normally includes an evaporator or cooling coil and a compressor and condenser combination.
Water Cooler A type of self-contained system that chills water for drinking.
Window Unit A type of unitary air conditioner that is small, self-contained, and window-mounted.

Global Warming Potentials

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) uses the concept of the global warming potential (GWP) to compare the ability of different gases to trap heat in the The table and GWP spectrum below list all substances referred to within HFCville and shows the GWPs. Hover over a substance in the table to see where it is on the GWP spectrum relative to other substances.4 Alternatively, hover over an item in the spectrum to see which substance it corresponds to. GWPs are also available throughout HFCville where is found.atmosphere relative to carbon dioxide. The higher the GWP, the more effective the substance is at trapping infrared radiation in the atmosphere. HFCville distinguishes high GWP substances and lower GWP alternatives based on the GWP measurement over a 100-year time period, as provided in the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).1 For emerging alternatives, blends, and other substances not listed in AR4, HFCville defers to values listed by literature from the U.S. EPA SNAP program,2 and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) 2010 Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion.3

The table and GWP spectrum below list all substances referred to within HFCville and shows the GWPs. Hover over a substance in the table to see where it is on the GWP spectrum relative to other substances.4 Alternatively, hover over an item in the spectrum to see which substance it corresponds to. GWPs are also available throughout HFCville where GWP image is found.

Substancea GWP
Ammonia (R-717) 0b
H2O (Water) 0
Water Mist 0b
Steam (Water) 0
Compressed Gases 0-1
Inert Gases 0-1
2-BTP <1b
Fluorinated Ketone <1c
CO2 (R-744) 1
CO2 1
Dimethyl Ether 1
Inert Gas Generators 1
Ethylene Oxide (EtO) 1b
Ethylene Oxide (EtO)/CO2 1b
Propylene (R-1270) 1.8b
Methylal <3b
R-600a 3b
R-290 3.3b
R-441A 3.4b
HFO-1234yf 4b
HFO-1233zd(E) 4.7 - 7b
Perfluorobutyl Iodide (PFBI) <5b
HFO-1234ze 6b
Substancea GWP
HFO-1336mzz(Z) 9.4b
Cyclopentane <25b
Hydrocarbons <25b
Hydrocarbons/Oxygenated Solvents <25b
Methyl Formate <25b
Pentane <25b
HFE-7200 59
HCFC-123 77
HCFC-225ca 122
HFC-152a 124
HFO-1243zf/R-32/R-134a <150b
HFE-7100 297
HFE-7000 (347mcc3) 575
HFE-347pcf2 580
HCFC-225cb 595
R-450A 604
HCFC-124 609
HFC-32 675
HCFC-141b 725
HFC-365mfc 794
HFC-245fa 1,030
Formic Acid in Blends with HFC-134a <1,430
HFC-134a 1,430
Substancea GWP
Halon 2402 1,640
HFC-43-10mee 1,640
R-407Cd 1.774
HCFC-22 1,810
R-407Fd 1825
Halon 1211 1,890
R-410Ad 2088
R-407Ad 2.107
R-427Ad 2.138
R-438Ad 2.265
HCFC-142b 2,310
R-422Bd 2.526
HFC-227ea 3,220
HFC-125 3,500
R-404A 3.922
R-507Ae 3.985
R-502e 4,657b
CFC-11 4,750
Halon 1301 7,140
PFC-5-1-14 9,300
HFC-236fa 9,810
CFC-12 10,900

1 IPCC. 2007. Climate Change 2007: Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M. Tignor and H.L. Miller (eds.) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA. Available at www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch2s2-10-2.html

2 U.S. EPA. 2014. Global Warming Potentials and Ozone Depletion Potentials of Some Ozone-Depleting Substances and Alternatives Listed by the SNAP Program. Available at www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/subsgwps.html. Factsheets, and other resources (e.g., SNAP regulations) also used as a source for GWPs if the compound is not available in AR4.

3 World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2010. Global Ozone Research and Monitoring Project-Report No. 52. Available at www.wmo.int/pages/prog/arep/gaw/ozone_2010/documents/Ozone-Assessment-2010-complete.pdf

4 The GWP spectrum has limited functionality in Internet Explorer 10. Please use a different browser to use the GWP spectrum.

a The nomenclature 'R' is typically used to designate chemical compounds and chemical compound blends used as a refrigerant. For example, R-22 is synonymous with the use of HCFC-22 as a refrigerant and R-142b with the use of HCFC-142b as a refrigerant.

b Source: U.S. EPA 2014.

c Source: WMO 2014.

d A refrigerant blend composed of one or more HFC.

e A refrigerant blend composed of an HCFC and HFC.

Resources List

Alternatives to HFCs General Resources Year Link
Alternatives to HFCs Fact Sheet, Climate and Clean Air Coalition CCAC 2014 http://www.unep.org/ccac/Portals/50162/PartnersArea/pdf/CCAC%20FACT%20SHEET-HFCs-EN-LR.pdf
Low-GWP Alternatives in Commercial Refrigeration: Propane, CO2 and HFO Case Studies, CCAC 2014 http://www.unep.org/ccac/portals/50162/docs/Low-GWP_Alternatives_in_Commercial_Refrigeration-Case_Studies-Final.pdf
Time to Act to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, CCAC 2013 http://www.unep.org/ccac/Portals/50162/docs/publications/Time_To_Act/SLCP_TimeToAct_lores.pdf
HFCs: A Critical Link in Protecting Climate and the Ozone Layer, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) 2011 http://www.unep.org/dewa/portals/67/pdf/HFC_report.pdf
Guidance on the Process for Selecting Alternatives to HCFCs in Foams, UNEP 2010 http://www.unep.fr/ozonaction/information/mmcfiles/7435-e-foam__.pdf
Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) Appendix 8.A: Lifetimes, Radiative Efficiencies and Metric Values, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2013 https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter08_FINAL.pdf
Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) Direct Global Warming Potentials, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch2s2-10-2.html
Guidelines for National GHG Inventories: Chapter 7: Emissions of Fluorinated Substitutes for ODS, IPCC 2006 http://www.ipcc-nggip.iges.or.jp/public/2006gl/pdf/3_Volume3/V3_7_Ch7_ODS_Substitutes.pdf
Compendium of Policies Governing HFCs, United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) 2014 http://conf.montreal-protocol.org/meeting/workshops/hfc_management-02/presession/Background%20Documents%20are%20available%20in%20English%20only/OEWG-34-INF4-Add2.pdf
HFC Policy Analysis Report, U.S. EPA 2014 http://conf.montreal-protocol.org/meeting/workshops/hfc_management-02/presession/Background%20Documents%20are%20available%20in%20English%20only/OEWG-34-INF4-Add1.pdf
Fact Sheets on Transitioning to Low-GWP Alternatives, U.S. EPA 2010 http://www.epa.gov/ozone/intpol/mpagreement.html
Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program, U.S. EPA NA http://www.epa.gov/Ozone/snap/index.html
Global Mitigation of Non-CO2 GHGs: 2010-2030, U.S. EPA 2013 http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/Downloads/EPAactivities/MAC_Report_2013.pdf
Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion, World Meteorological Organization (WMO) 2010 http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/arep/gaw/ozone_2010/documents/Ozone-Assessment-2010-complete.pdf
Technical Assessments on Alternatives to HFCs Year Link
TEAP Report: Decision XXIV/7 Task Force Report September 2013, UNEP 2013 http://ozone.unep.org/Assessment_Panels/TEAP/Reports/TEAP_Reports/TEAP_TaskForce%20XXIV-7-September2013.pdf
Report of the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, and Heat Pumps Technical Operations Committee (RTOC): 2010 Assessment, UNEP 2010 http://ozone.unep.org/Assessment_Panels/TEAP/Reports/RTOC/RTOC-Assessment-report-2010.pdf
Report of the Halons Technical Options Committee (HTOC): 2010 Assessment, UNEP 2010 http://ozone.unep.org/Assessment_Panels/TEAP/Reports/HTOC/HTOC-Assessment-Report-2010.pdf
Rigid and Flexible Foams Report (FTOC): 2010 Assessment, UNEP 2010 http://ozone.unep.org/Assessment_Panels/TEAP/Reports/FTOC/FTOC-2010-Assessment-Report.pdf
Chemical Technical Options Committee (CTOC): 2010 Assessment, UNEP 2010 http://ozone.unep.org/Assessment_Panels/TEAP/Reports/CTOC/CTOC-Assesssment-Report-2010.pdf
Medical Technical Options Committee (MTOC): 2010 Assessment, UNEP 2010 http://ozone.unep.org/Assessment_Panels/TEAP/Reports/MTOC/MTOC-Assessment-Report-2010.pdf
Special Report: Safeguarding the Ozone Layer and the Global Climate System, IPCC and the Montreal Protocol's Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) 2005 http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/special-reports/sroc/sroc_full.pdf
Declarations and Proposed Amendments Year Link
Handbook for the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, UNEP 2012 http://ozone.unep.org/Publications/MP_Handbook/MP-Handbook-2012.pdf
Proposed Amendment to the Montreal Protocol submitted by Canada, Mexico and the U.S., UNEP 2015 http://conf.montreal-protocol.org/meeting/oewg/oewg-35/presession/English/OEWG-35-3E.pdf
Proposed Amendment to the Montreal Protocol submitted by the Federated States of Micronesia, UNEP 2015 http://conf.montreal-protocol.org/meeting/oewg/oewg-36/presession/English/OEWG-36-6E.pdf
Kiruna Declaration, Arctic Council Secretariat 2013 http://www.arctic-council.org/index.php/en/document-archive/category/5-declarations?download=2231:all-arctic-council-declarations-1996-2013