Air Conditioners

Using propane in air conditioners prevents warming by 0.1°C | Rare Techy


It is predicted that there will be 3.7 billion gas turbines in operation by 2050. Using propane as a heating system can prevent much of the global warming by the end of the century.


15 August 2022

Air Conditioning, Equipment, Compressor, Service, Repairman

Gases that use propane have fewer greenhouse gases

Getty/Sefa Ozel

Using propane for heating in air conditioners can avoid nearly 0.1°C of global warming by the end of the century. It is a drastic reduction, to meet the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, the planet must not warm by more than 0.3 °C.

In 1987, most countries committed to phasing out ozone-depleting gases used in refrigeration equipment in favor of alternatives called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). HFCs do not destroy the ozone, but they are greenhouse gases, some of which contribute to global warming thousands of times more than CO2, ton for ton.

More than a hundred countries have committed to replacing HFC refrigerators to reduce emissions from the refrigeration sector., it is responsible for 7 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. That figure could double by 2030 if current emissions continue, says Toby Peters at the University of Birmingham, UK.

Pallav Purohit at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria and his colleagues considered the benefits of replacing HFCs with propane in air conditioners, called split ACs. A ton of propane is less warming than a ton of CO2, Purohit said.

The researchers used climate and economic models to compare the three scenarios. In one respect, powerful HFCs are still in use. In the second, the widely used HFC will be replaced with HFC which is less warming, but hundreds of times more powerful than CO2. Thirdly, propane is used for heating in all split ACs.

They found that switching to propane would avoid between 0.06°C and 0.12°C of warming by 2100, assuming a future where CO2 emissions continue around levels of now to 2050 it will start to decline. Switching to less efficient HFCs would avoid 0.03°C of warming.

According to Alex Hillbrand at the Natural Resources Defense Council, a US environmental advocacy organization, 0.1°C to avoid warming is “very significant”. That’s roughly half of what the global HFC phaseout aims to achieve by reducing HFC use by 80 percent by 2047. But widespread adoption of propane is difficult, when Fortunately for countries like India and China the need for cooling is growing rapidly, he said. ta.

Most manufacturers have achieved phase-downs so far by switching to lower-energy HFCs because they’ve become smarter, Hillbrand said. Propane gas heaters are available in Europe and Asia, but they are a small part of the current market. In other places it is prohibited because propane is flammable.

There will be 3.7 billion gas turbines by 2050. Peters says it would be great if they used propane. But since 80 percent of cooling-related emissions come from generating the electricity used to power heating equipment, more energy-efficient heating and clean energy sources are needed. Other good-natured refrigerants such as ammonia may be more suitable for different areas and applications.

Journal Reference: PNASDOI: 10.1073/pnas.2206131119

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