Bente Tranholm-Schwartz, Deputy Head of Unit at DG Climate Action at the European Commission (EC), pointed to natural refrigerants as the way forward in Europe in view of the likely stricter EU F-gas Regulation and upcoming REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) regulation of PFAS chemicals that is targeting f-gases.
She made those comments at the ATMOsphere (ATMO) Europe Summit 2022, held in Brussels November 15–16 and organized by ATMOsphere, publisher of R744.com.
PFAS are so-called forever chemicals that have been found to persist in the environment and have been linked to adverse health effects. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) will be considering proposals to regulate PFAS as a class under REACH, including certain f-gases and trifluoroacetic acid (TFA), one of their atmospheric degradation products.
“If you are standing in front of a decision to invest in a new plant, and you know that there is the REACH investigation going on, and if you can actually produce what you are producing without getting into the area that REACH is dealing with, probably that thinking would lead you to a result where you would go natural,” said Tranholm-Schwartz during the panel Impact of F-gases: EU F-gas Policy Panel. “That is for the investors to decide, [but] if you can go natural, probably you would.”