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Refrigerant R32, is it now banned in the EU from 1st Jan 2027 for monobloc ASHPs?

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Not that long ago R32 was touted as the 'refrigerant of the future' - a pure compound low GWP (675) HFC with near identical performance properties to the then popular but much higher GWP R410A.

Now it seems R32 will shortly be consigned to history in the EU under the newly adopted legislation EC2024/573 targeting the drawn-down and phase out of greenhouse gas use. The UK is not obliged to follow the EUs legislative timeline. Refrigeration industry leaders in the UK are calling for a more cautious and measured draw down and phase out.

For once, that's not the UK shying away from Net Zero 2050 or simple anti EU rhetoric - rather a genuine concern that EU legislation is often driven ideologically rather than pragmatically, enacting legislation that could jeapordise the refrigeration industry. The proposed EU ban on PFASs (so-called 'forever chemicals') is a case-in-point. That would ban most common HFO synthetic refrigerants used in the heat pump industry, including R1234yf and R1234ze and whole host of other ASHRAE refrigerants developed as ultra low GWP alternatives to HFC refrigerants. These are commonly used in larger industrial heat pumps where A2L and A3 flammable category refrigerants such as R32 and R290 cannot be used for safety reasons.

R290 propane will probably be the future long-term refrigerant for small hermetic monobloc ASHPs, but ASHP manufacturers such as Ideal Logic Air, Ebac and others have all recently punted for R32 in newly launched domestic market products. This could be a very unwelcome development for them...



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