Alternatives to ODS and F-gases

According as various ozone depleting substances (ODS) are being phased out, new alternatives are being introduced in their place. In many cases, the alternatives have other environmental benefits, not just for protection of the ozone layer. Many ODS refrigerants have been replaced by HFCs, which are fluorinated greenhouse gases and controlled by Regulation 842/2006 on certain fluorinated greenhouse gases.

A new F-gas Regulation was published in 2014, which introduces a phase down schedule for HFCs and also introduces additional product bans. The new Regulation promotes a move towards climate-friendly alternatives to HFCs the the European Commission prepared a background study which provide some information on alternatives.

Much of the research work into alternatives is carried out by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), where the Technological and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) operates various committees to focus on halons, methyl bromide, Refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps, and other issues. The most up to date information on alternatives is presented in TEAP Reports.

The European Commission also provides information on alternatives and various publications and resources are available on the Commission’s website.

Learn more

The  European F Gas Regulation encourages wider adoption of alternatives to high GWP HFC refrigerants. Industry groups are joining together to help provide information on the safe use of alternatives such as ammonia, hydrocarbon, carbon dioxide and low flammables though the REAL Alternatives learning programme. Resources developed as part of the project offer innovative blended learning - a mix of e-learning, face-to-face training materials, practical exercises, assessments and an e-library of learning resources - the programme has brought together industry knowledge and expertise from across Europe about alternative refrigerants.

Read about F-gas alternatives presented at an event organised by the European Partnership for Energy and Environment

Read the studies on availability of HFC alternatives on the Commission's webpage

Read about alternatives discussed at the 2013 Bangkok Technology Conference

Check the Commission’s webpage on  Methyl Bromide alternatives

Read information on HCFC alternatives  (International Technical Meeting 2008)

Read information on ODS alternatives in Technological and Economic Assessment Panel Reports

Check the Commission’s webpages on fluorinated greenhouse gases