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Full Scale Controlled HFC refrigerant, R290 May Usher in the Spring of Development

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-03-11      Origin: Site

Full Scale Controlled HFC refrigerant, R290 May Usher in the Spring of Development

With the official entry into force of the Kigali Amendment in China on September 15, 2021, HFC refrigerants represented by R32, R410A, etc. will be frozen and cut in China from 2024, and production and sales will all be carried out in accordance with quotas. HFC refrigerants are under control, and low GWP refrigerants represented by R290 will usher in the spring of development.


Increased control of HFC refrigerants


In 2021, the implementation of the "two-carbon" strategy and the entry into force of the Kigali Amendment in China will prompt the successive introduction of policies related to the phase-out of HFC refrigerants.

On September 29, 2021, the "List of Controlled Ozone-Depleting Substances in China" was revised, adding 18 HFC substances. On October 29, 2021, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment announced that from November 1, 2021, China will officially begin to implement an import and export license system for the import and export of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Enterprises engaged in the import and export of HFCs should file an application in accordance with the regulations, and after being approved by the National ODS Import and Export Administration Office, apply for an import and export license to the Ministry of Commerce or a licensing agency entrusted by the Ministry of Commerce. Go through customs clearance procedures and abide by relevant laws and regulations. On November 9, 2021, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment announced the "Guiding Opinions on Deepening Law-Based Administration in the Field of Ecological Environment and Continuing to Strengthen Law-Based Pollution Control". The "Opinions" pointed out that it is necessary to actively promote the revision of administrative regulations on the management of ozone-depleting substances, promote the elimination of ozone-depleting substances and the reduction of HFC substances in accordance with the law, and at the same time promote the inclusion of illegal acts involving ozone-depleting substances into the scope of criminal responsibility. On December 28, 2021, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology jointly issued the "Notice on Strictly Controlling the First Batch of HFC Chemical Production and Construction Projects". This "Notice" stipulates that starting from January 1, 2022, localities shall not build or expand chemical production facilities for HFC substances (excluding by-products) listed in the "Notice" for controlled purposes such as refrigerants and blowing agents. facilities), unless the environmental impact report (form) has been approved.


The intensive introduction of these policies, on the one hand, can ensure the full-scale control of the controlled substances in the Kigali Amendment, and on the other hand, clarifies the determination at the national level to ensure the elimination of ozone-depleting substances and the reduction of HFC substances by means of the rule of law. Approving and strictly controlling the production of HFC substances can block the possibility of "elimination and new construction" of the five large-scale HFC substances in the industry.


R290 ushered in a major opportunity


The Chinese government's vigorous implementation of full-caliber control of HFC substances has brought an excellent opportunity for the development of R290 air conditioners.

In fact, R290 is the only refrigerant that can meet the requirements of the Kigali Amendment. However, due to the limitations of the old standard system and the lack of professional installation and maintenance technicians, the marketization of R290 air conditioners has always faced great challenges. "At this stage, the marketization of R290 air conditioners is still the core goal of refrigerant replacement in the household air conditioner industry." At the 2021 China Household Appliances Technology Conference, Li Xiaoyan, a senior project officer at the Foreign Cooperation and Exchange Center of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, emphasized.


Although the road of development is full of challenges, China's household air-conditioning industry has been carrying out the replacement of R290 refrigerant for many years, and has achieved many achievements.


According to the relevant person in charge of the China Household Electrical Appliances Association, more than 20 household air conditioner production lines have completed the technical conversion of R290. Among them, in the field of integrated air conditioners, the sales of dehumidifiers and mobile machines using R290 have grown rapidly in recent years, especially since the implementation of the new EU F-Gas Act (F-Gas Act), which has the advantages of low-carbon and environmental protection, and can better R290 all-in-one air conditioners that meet the requirements of the Act have seen a surge in the EU market. In terms of split units, the marketization of R290 household air conditioners is relatively slow due to the restriction of the current product safety standards on the refrigerant charge limit. At present, the International Organization for Standardization is conducting a scientific and reasonable revision of the limit standard for the charging amount of flammable refrigerants in household air-conditioning products. After the revision of the standard, the performance advantages of R290 will be effectively exerted in air-conditioning, and the application scope is expected to be effectively expanded.

These fruitful works have accelerated the marketization of R290 air conditioners in recent years. The China Household Electrical Appliances Association has counted the data of 8 enterprises that have carried out the transformation of R290 household air conditioner production lines. Data shows that in 2019, the sales volume of split air conditioners in China was about 190,000 units, and the sales volume of all-in-one units was about 960,000 units; by 2020, the sales volume of R290 split-type air conditioners in China was 90,000 units, and the sales volume of R290 air conditioners was 1.58 million units. around the table.


At the same time, the sales of Chinese brand R290 air conditioners in overseas markets also made new breakthroughs. Taking Midea as an example, Midea's R290 air conditioner entered the European market as early as 2014. Up to now, Midea has more than 1 million R290 air conditioners entered the European market. In August 2021, Midea Group's All Easy series R290 split air conditioners were also approved for sale in the European market, and Midea's first batch of All Easy series R290 air conditioners have arrived at the European headquarters of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Germany.

Due to the superior performance of R290 as a refrigerant, its environmental protection characteristics are recognized by the market. In particular, the development and research of R290 air-conditioning compressor and refrigerator compressor also provides technical support for the application of R290 in many fields such as clothes dryers and ice machines. According to the relevant person in charge of the China Household Electrical Appliances Association, almost all of the ice maker field has been converted to R290 refrigerant in the past one or two years, with an annual output of about 1.5 million units; the market size of heat pump dryer R290 products has also increased rapidly in recent years. In 2020, the proportion will be 80%, and the output will reach 3 million units.

In addition, the light commercial refrigerator industry is also an area where R290 is entrusted with important tasks. According to Yin Xiaobing, Deputy Director of Product R&D Department of Changhong Huayi Commercial Compressor R&D Center, mainstream compressor companies have launched R290 products, which has promoted the application of R290 in the field of light commercial refrigerators, with a coverage rate of about 90%.


R290 shines in so many fields, coupled with strong policy support for it, the application of R290 replacement technology in the field of household air conditioners may accelerate.

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