A-Gas is urging installers and end-users not to waste time in switching to reclaimed refrigerants now that the use of virgin R404A is banned. The company has spoken out following the latest restriction imposed by the European F-gas regulations. Since January 1 virgin HFC refrigerants with a GWP greater than 2500 have been banned from use to service or refill refrigeration or freezer systems with a refrigerant charge size of 40 tonnes of CO2e or more. This equates to around 10.2kg of R404A, a common refrigerant in medium sized systems. Smaller and hermetically sealed systems should be unaffected by this ban. The ban will also include R507 and the R22 replacement gas R422D, both of which have GWPs in excess of 2500. The ban applies across Europe.

This rule also applies to companies who may have stockpiled these refrigerants before that date. Reclaimed or recycled refrigerant will still be able to be used until 2030. “As a refrigerant supplier, we have been increasing our capacity to handle reclaimed R404A which we believe will be a stepping stone to the new generation of low GWP refrigerants,” A-Gas said. A-Gas says it has invested heavily in expanding its reclamation facilities in the UK and in Europe and insists that, with the major refrigerant suppliers removing all stocks of virgin R404A and R507A from sale in the Europe, the importance that the switch to reclaimed gases must gain pace if the industry is to manage this change.

“It is also key that installers and end users understand the difference between reclaimed and recycled refrigerants,” it says. “Recycled refrigerant is a handy quick-fix which is cleaned up and can only be used on site. While reclaimed refrigerant is product that has been reprocessed by a licensed facility to the industry standard AHRI 700 to match that of virgin product. It is purified, certificated and guaranteed to be returned to the same standard as virgin material.