The EPA has listed three hydrocarbons as acceptable for small commercial refrigerators and freezers. Under the Clean Air Act, the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program evaluates chemicals and technologies to substitute for ozone-depleting substances.
The three hydrocarbon refrigerants approved are propane, isobutane, and R-441A. These newly-approved options are now usable in commercial stand-alone units, combination refrigerator-freezers, household refrigerators, and freezers.
“Today’s action is a great example of how businesses and EPA can work together to protect our planet and drive innovation,” says Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “This action increases the options for effective, climate-friendly refrigerants in the U.S.”
According to the EPA, replacing older refrigerants will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 600,000 metric tons by 2020, equal to the emissions from the annual electricity use of nearly 75,000 homes, and will protect people’s health and the environment.