UPDATE: Atmosphere 2009: Hydrocarbons in the Spotlight -Part II
30 October 2009
Mobile Air Conditioning: Hydrocarbons vs. HFC1234yf
22 December 2009
Automotive Recyclers Association: safety of HFO remains a concern
09 February 2010
More specifically, owners of models 1999 and above are no longer allowed to renew their annual registration without shifting away from CFCs. Older models (1998 and below) with CFC-using airconditioning systems will still be allowed to register until the phase-out year 2012, after which they will have to retrofit their system with ozone-friendly refrigerants. This restriction is to encourage vehicle owners to use environmental-friendly refrigerant as well as discourage the practice of back-conversion or the charging of a HFC system with CFC refrigerant, which is commonly practiced by vehicle owners to save on the cost of their refrigerant.
An opportunity for hydrocarbons
The already effective CFC phase-out schedule could see the number of cars using hydrocarbon air-conditioners increase in the Philippines. The Philippines are among the main countries already having many car air-conditioning systems with drop-in hydrocarbon charges. It is estimated that over 10 million car air conditioners worldwide have been converted from fluorocarbon to hydrocarbon refrigerant, about half of these in North America. Almost all of them have been drop-in conversions usually costing less than €50. Other countries with many drop-in hydrocarbon mobile air conditioning conversions include Panama, Indonesia, Australia, Korea and China.
In Philippines, conversion of car air-conditioning systems to hydrocarbons is a legal practice, promoted by DENR and the Philippines Ozone Desk (POD). However, according to industry sources active in the Philippines, despite the increasing number of vehicles being converted to hydrocarbons, overall progress has so far been slow for the following reasons:
- CFC12 is still available, despite the fact that its importation is now illegal
- Fake and very cheap HFC134a is available
- Difficulties with logistics: travel and transport is hard in the Philippines and hence only parts of Manila have been covered
- Poor quality hydrocarbons imported at low cost: There have been some poor quality hydrocarbons imported at low cost that have not performed but caused issues within the systems
- Cost impediment: the availability on the market of cheap CFC12 as well as fake and cheap HFC134a limits the attractiveness of good quality hydrocarbons
During a TV Program by the Philippine Information Agency, Isabel Anzia, the chief of the EMB's Pollution Control Division appealed to the general public to utilise only the service shops that are accredited by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
DENR has been distributing free tools and equipment amounting to as much as PHP100,000 (about EUR1,500) to service shops for the recovery of CFCs and for servicing ozone-friendly mobile air conditions. Moreover, EMB has launched an information drive to help vehicle owners find accredited service shops and has started distributing informative tarpaulins stating that an air-con service shop is accredited with the DENR and DTI. EMB Director Juan Miguel Cuna said the agency is targeting the 2,512 DTI-accredited service shops nationwide to bear these tarpaulins.
As of 2006, the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) - Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) - Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) are implementing a regulation under the DOTC-DENR Joint Administrative Order No. 3 series of 2006, to inspect car airconditioning systems as a requirement for renewal and registration.