THE availability and price of reclaimed HCFCs after December 2009 is 'very uncertain' warns F-Gas Support, following reports of large industrial firms reserving stocks of reclaimed R22 and being prepared to pay almost any price.
From January 1, 2010, it will be illegal to use virgin HCFCs to service RAC equipment. It is also illegal to stockpile and use any supplies of virgin HCFCs after the end of 2009.
Any company planning to use reclaimed HCFCs to maintain systems after 2009 are being advised to contact their refrigeration supplier to discuss how to meet expected demand.
The DEFRA-funded team, known as F-Gas Support, has stated 'recycled' HCFC gas (recovered gas that has undergone a basic cleaning process) may only be used by those carrying out the recovery (i.e. the refrigeration contractor) or the owner. The recycled HCFCs may not be placed on the market (i.e. supplied to third parties free of charge or in exchange for payment.)
The owner also cannot sell recycled HCFC to a third party, but can use the recycled HCFC in acr equipment at other sites they operate from.
'Reclaimed' HCFCs (recovered HCFC gas that has been chemically reprocessed to a specified standard)
can be placed on the wider market and used by others other than the owner or original contractor.
F-Gas made the statements as part of its newly published guidance on new legislation, concerning R22, which comes into force in January 1, 2010.
The DEFRA guidance covers the availability and permitted use of recycled HCFCs and other proposed amendments to the EC Ozone regulation.
To read the guidance click here