EPA approves propane as a climate-friendly refrigerant

March 3, 2015 By    

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is increasing the available options for refrigerants used in various kinds of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment in the United States. Propane is among the acceptable refrigerants, specifically for household refrigerators, freezers or combination refrigerators and freezers, in vending machines and in room air-conditioning units.

According to a press release, EPA’s action addresses refrigerants under the Climate Action Plan that calls on the agency’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program to identify and approve additional climate-friendly chemicals. The SNAP Program evaluates substitute chemicals and technologies that are safe for the ozone layer, and the final rule expands the list of SNAP-approved substitutes to include more low-global warming potential (GWP) alternatives that can replace both the ozone-depleting substances and high-GWP hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

In addition to adding propane as one of several climate-friendly alternatives, EPA is exempting propane from the Clean Air Act venting prohibition. EPA says current evidence suggests propane’s venting, release or disposal does not pose a threat to the environment.

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