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Keywords:

  • CFCs;
  • global warming;
  • life-cycle impact assessment;
  • materials accounting;
  • refrigeration;
  • substance flow analysis

Summary

We have investigated the global warming potential (GWP) of CFC-I I, CFC-12, and their replacements, HCFC-I23 and HFC-I34a, based on a life-cycle methodology for refrigeration. We have extended the definition of the total equivalent warming impact (TEWI), which considers the GWP (direct) and GWP (indirect) warming potential of each chemical compound, by adding the GWP (chemical production), GWP (recycling), and GWP (atmospheric breakdown products) for each chemical. We call the new index “life-cycle warming impact” (LCWI).We find that the GWP (chemical production) contributes by no more than 1% to LCWI, and that the GWP (indirect) is highly dependent on refrigerator eficiency and the fuel mix of the electricity source used to operate the appliance. The GWP (atmospheric breakdown products) may also have a significant impact on LCWI.