The world plans to change all air conditioning and refrigeration systems to save the ozone layer
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11 تشرين1/أكتوير 2016 Author :   Isaiah Esipisu
All air conditioning systems to be changed

KIGALI, Rwanda (PAMACC News) – Before the year 1990 most of the refrigeration and air conditioning equipments operated using some gas called chlorofluorocarbon also known as CFC. This is an organic compound that contains only carbon, chlorine, and fluorine, produced as volatile derivative of methane, ethane, and propane. Unfortunately, the CFC was found to be a lethal greenhouse gas that mainly depleted the ozone layer.

With the commitment of the world to reduce emission of greenhouse gases (compounds that are able to trap heat in the atmosphere), because they make the earth much warmer than naturally expected, leading to climate change, the world agreed to phase out CFC, and instead adopted use Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) as a safer option.

However, with more studies, it has become clear that HFCs are not as safe to the environment as earlier thought.

“HFCs were created to replace HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons), which in turn replaced CFCs, after it was discovered that the gases were putting a hole in the ozone layer.  But we didn’t realise that in HFCs we had created another thing that is even more devastating than Carbon dioxide,” said Gabi Drinkwater, a Senior Policy expert working for Christian Aid.

And now, scientists are in the process of replacing the HFCs with a new gas formula known as hydrocarbons (HC).

The HC is an elementary compound of hydrogen and carbon which occurs naturally and is found in large concentrations in crude oil. According to experts, non-toxic hydrocarbons are an eco -friendly alternative to the CFC,HCFC and HFC fluorocarbon ozone damaging elements.

It is based on this knowledge that representatives of different states from all over the world are meeting in Kigali Rwanda, to draw a roadmap on how people are going to shift from use of HFC based refrigeration and air conditioning systems to HC based systems.

This calls for countries and companies that have invested so much in production of HFCs to freeze their production. And this has leads to a huge debate related economics of investment. The other argument is about where the existing gadgets will be dumped, and at whose cost.

By the end of the week on October 15, the negotiators will have come up with the way forward to determine when the phase-out should commence, where the funding will come from, and how the money will be invested in the process.

But so far, some countries have already started producing refrigerators that use HC. In Africa for example, Palfridge Ltd, a fridge manufacturing company in Southern Africa has already switched to production of fridges that use HC.

“Apart from being environment friendly, the HC based fridges are energy efficient, produce less heat, and the compressors do not produce much noise,” said Tumani Chidyamarambe, an engineer working for Paldridge in Swaziland.

Most African states are hopeful that developed countries will help them switch before 2025.

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