Final report

Persistent degradation products of halogenated refrigerants and blowing agents in the environment: type, environmental concentrations, and fate with particular regard to new halogenated substitutes with low global warming potential

  • David Behringer
  • Felix Heydel
  • Barbara Gschrey
  • Steffi Osterheld
  • W. Schwarz
  • Kristina Warncke
  • Finnian Freeling
  • Karsten Nödler
  • Stephan Henne
  • Stefan Reimann
  • Markus Blepp
  • Wolfram Jörß
    Senior Researcher / Head of Carbon Accounting subdivision Energy & Climate
  • Ran Liu
    Senior Researcher Sustainable Products & Material Flows
  • S. Gartiser

Climate-impacting refrigerants and blowing agents are often replaced by halogenated substances which, despite their low global warming potential, are not unproblematic for the environment. The study examines quantities used and emissions today and in the future as well as degradation pathways and products. An environmentally relevant degradation product is the persistent trifluoroacetic acid (TFA). A two-year measurement campaign of TFA at 8 monitoring sites in Germany showed that TFA levels in precipitation are already several times higher than they were 25 years ago and are expected to rise even further. Therefore, the use and development of products with halogen-free refrigerants and blowing agents must be further accelerated.