Wanted: New ways to chill air conditioners, fridges | Science News

Real Science. Real News.

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.


Wanted: New ways to chill air conditioners, fridges

Rwanda climate deal has scientists seeking coolants that don’t accidentally warm planet

9:00am, October 25, 2016

COOLING OFF  A newly penned international agreement will phase out the potent greenhouse gases currently used in many refrigerators and air conditioners, prompting scientists and chemical companies to look for eco-friendly alternatives.

The hunt is on for chemicals to keep both you and the planet cool.

A new agreement will soon begin phasing out the powerful greenhouse gases currently used in air conditioners, refrigerators and insulating foams. These gases, called hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, can cause hundreds of times more global warming per molecule than carbon dioxide. The phaseout, announced by world leaders on October 15 in Kigali, Rwanda, has scientists and chemical companies investigating new molecules to chill things with less harm to the planet. Some of these molecules are already in use, while others require more tinkering.

Hunting for eco-friendly alternatives to planet-warming HFCs requires careful chemistry, says Rajiv Banavali, a chief technology officer at Honeywell International, which develops chemicals for air conditioners and refrigerators. A replacement chemical has to

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content