German agency seeks ban on R1233zd

The German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) is pushing for a ban on the new low GWP refrigerant R1233zd under a review of the European ODS Regulation.

Last month, the European Commission initiated an evaluation of the European ODS regulation (1005/2009) to establish whether it is still fit for purpose. The regulation was introduced in 2010 to implement the Montreal Protocol, which has been in force since 1989.

In its feedback submission, the German Environment Agency calls for a consistent strict ban of ozone depleting substances and points out that R1233zd, which is being used in new low pressure centrifugal chillers as an alternative to R123, has an ozone depletion potential of 0.00034.

“We recommend a consistent strict ban of ozone depleting substances,” the German Environment Agency says in its feedback. Referring to R1233zd, it says “Despite the ODP >0 the substance will be produced and promoted for several new applications in the field of refrigeration”.

An A1, non-toxic, non-flammable refrigerant with a GWP of 4.5 (under AR4), R1233zd has already been adopted by many leading chiller manufacturers as an energy efficient alternative for applications currently using R123. R1233zd is also being used as a foam blowing agent.

R123 was first introduced in the early 1990s as an alternative to the CFC R11. Although highly efficient with a low GWP (77), R123 is an HCFC and currently being phased out worldwide under the Montreal Protocol.

Its new alternative, R1233zd, is normally described as zero-ODP due to its very low ODP, and, measured at 0.00034, its ODP is nearly 200 times less than R123.