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Sustainability > Environment > Response to Climate Change > Low Environmental Impact Refrigerants

Response to Climate Change

Low Environmental Impact Refrigerants

Low Environmental Impact Refrigerants

Working Toward Practical Application of a Wide Range of Next-Generation Refrigerants

The refrigerant conveys the heat between the indoor unit and the outdoor unit of air conditioners. Although HFC, currently the most widely used refrigerant in developed countries, has zero ozone depletion potential, it contributes to global warming if released into the atmosphere.

The Daikin Group is conducting research aimed at achieving practical use of next-generation refrigerants that contribute less to global warming than conventional refrigerants. In conducting research aimed at eventually launching products using such refrigerants, we focus not only on their direct effect on global warming but also on their effects throughout the entire lifecycle, including energy efficiency during air conditioner use. We make decisions based on all contributing factors: besides the environmental impact of refrigerants themselves, we look at safety factors like flammability and toxicity, the cost and availability of the refrigerant, and the cost of producing air conditioners that use the refrigerant.

Daikin's View: Action on Refrigerant and Goals Evaluation Index of Refrigerant Selection (common for all application)

Daikin's View: Action on Refrigerant and Goals Evaluation Index of Refrigerant Selection (common for all application)

Choosing the Right Refrigerant for Each Application to Mitigate Environmental Impact

Different characteristics are required of refrigerants, depending on whether they are used in, for example, residential or commercial air conditioners, water and space heaters, or refrigeration equipment. That is why we have spent years conducting research that will enable the selection of refrigerant that is ideal for each application. We have so far conducted research on next-generation refrigerants such as natural refrigerants and HFC refrigerants, and have considered their application in products.

Using the knowledge we have built up, we are providing information worldwide at events such as international conferences, academic conferences, and exhibitions, as well as through research paper presentations, on the global warming impact of refrigerants and measures against it.

Example of Daikin’s Choice of Refrigerants

Example of Daikin’s Choice of Refrigerants

Note: Other refrigerants not listed above are also applied in products outside of Daikin’s portfolio, some examples include hydrocarbons (isobutane, propane, etc.) for residential refrigerators and window air conditioners or HFO refrigerants for mobile air conditioners.

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Protecting the Ozone Layer

Focusing on Converting to Alternative Refrigerants and Recovering Fluorocarbons

HCFCs used to be the most commonly used refrigerant, but in the 1980s experts suspected it was depleting the ozone layer, so under the Montreal Protocol developed nations agreed to phase out its production in developed countries by 2020. Daikin’s chemicals business has for years worked to mitigate ozone layer destruction by developing alternative refrigerants that do not deplete the ozone layer. In 1991 we began the first mass-production in Japan of HFC, a refrigerant with zero ozone depletion potential, and in 1995, under our air conditioner business we developed and began selling air conditioners that use HFC as the refrigerant.

Besides converting to HFC refrigerants, we have also been working to minimize leakage into the atmosphere: we design and develop products that are easy to recover refrigerant and that minimize its leakage, and we recover refrigerant during the manufacturing stage and product repair. In April 2002, we began a fluorocarbon recovery and destruction business in which we recover and properly dispose of refrigerants from used air conditioners.

Air Conditioner Lifecycle, Measures to Mitigate Global Warming Impact of Refrigerants

Air Conditioner Lifecycle, Measures to Mitigate Global Warming Impact of Refrigerants

Converting to Refrigerants with Zero Ozone Depletion Potential in the overseas markets as well as in Japan

The Daikin Group is converting refrigerants for air conditioners from conventional HCFCs to HFCs with zero ozone depletion potential.

Daikin sells air conditioners using only HFC in Japan and Europe. We are also the first company in China to offer HFC VRV (multi-split type air conditioners for commercial buildings), and we currently sell HFC residential air conditioners as well.

In developing countries where HCFCs are the most commonly used refrigerants for air conditioners, we are making the conversion (where possible given current infrastructure) to HFC-32, a refrigerant with lower global warming potential, in order to mitigate both ozone layer depletion and global warming at the same time.

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Mitigate the Global Warming Impact

Promoting the Use of HFC-32, a Refrigerant with Lower Global Warming Potential

In November 2012, Daikin became the first company in the world to launch residential air conditioners using HFC-32 for the Japanese market; HFC-32 has just one-third the global warming potential of conventional R-410A (HFC) refrigerant. In March 2013, we released a residential air conditioner using HFC-32 in India. We are in the process of releasing these HFC-32 air conditioners in other countries and using HFC-32 for commercial air conditioners and water heaters as well.

To disseminate HFC-32 air conditioning, cooling and heat pump equipment globally, in September 2011 Daikin began offering companies worldwide 93 patents for developing and commercializing such products using HFC-32 single component refrigerant.

Launch of HFC-32 Air Conditioner by the Daikin group (As of end of March 2016)

Residential Air Conditioner Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, India, Singapore, New Zealand, 28 countries in Europe, the Ukraine, Russia, Norway, Montenegro, Albania, Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Sri Lanka
Commercial Air Conditioner
(certain models)
Japan
Water Heaters
(certain models)
Japan
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