HFC Emission Reduction Measures for Mobile Air Conditioning
This page last reviewed March 02, 2011
As part of the California's Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) the ARB approved four early action measures to reduce hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions associated with mobile air conditioning (MAC). An additional measure concerns the recovery of refrigerant from decommissioned refrigerated shipping containers. The predominant refrigerant currently in use is HFC-134a, a hydrofluorocarbon and a powerful greenhouse gas (GHG). It can slowly leak out of the MAC system in a manner that may occur with any closed high-pressure system such as permeation through hoses, and leakage due to compromised connections and deterioration of parts, seals, and fittings. Larger leaks may occur during accidents, maintenance and servicing, and vehicle disposal at the end of useful life. The use of a low GWP refrigerant in MAC would greatly reduce the GHG impact associated with direct emissions. Emission reductions can also be gained through efficiency measures applied to MAC systems. It is projected that under business as usual, global emissions of HFC-134a will continue to rise as the global vehicle population grows and the number of MAC systems increases in developing countries. California measures to mitigate these emissions have diverse approaches which complement each other, and can be adopted nationally, as well as globally.
Measures to Control HFC Emissions from MAC
- Regulation to control emissions from small containers of automotive refrigerant became effective January 1, 2010.
- Requirement for low GWP refrigerant in new MAC will be incorporated into LEV III.
- Requirement to add an AC leak tightness test and repair to Smog Check program is on hold.
- Enforcement of existing federal requirements to recover refrigerant from MAC at end of life is on hold.
- Measure to reduce GHG emissions from refrigerated shipping containers is on hold.
Other Regulatory Activities regarding GHG Emissions from MAC
- Clean Car Standards - Pavley Regulation, Assembly Bill 1493 Regulation (Certification of Improved MAC)
- Environmental Performance Label Regulation (Certification of Improved MAC)
For questions regarding the content on this web page, please contact Tao Zhan at (916) 445-9495.