Life cycle assessment of fluorinated gas recovery from waste refrigerants through vacuum swing adsorption

R. Gonzalez-Olmos, F. Llovell

Producción científica: Artículo en revista indizadaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

1 Cita (Scopus)


The refrigeration industry is facing a challenge due to stricter regulations on the use of fluorinated gases (F-gases) with high Global Warming Potential (GWP). In many cases, the design of alternative refrigerants requires the recycling of low and moderate GWP compounds from existing refrigerant blends, but currently there is no a standardized technology available to recover them, and finally most gases are incinerated at the end of the equipment's life cycle. Recently, Vacuum Swing Adsorption (VSA) has been proposed as a possible solution for the complex separation of F-gas mixtures. The environmental sustainability of the recovery of R-32 from R-410A blend using a VSA process (circular economy scenario), was analysed through a life cycle assessment (LCA) approach, and it was compared to the conventional R-32 production (benchmark scenario). The results show that the VSA technology can achieve a 30.9% recovery of 97 mol% R-32 suitable for further reuse, with a reduction in the environmental loads ranging from 58 to 99% compared to industrial R-32 production. The carbon footprint of the recovery process is 4.81 kg CO2 equiv., while for the industrial production of R-32 is 10.9 kg CO2 equiv. This study proves that the development of adsorption-based technologies for F-gas recovery can improve the environmental impact of these compounds from a circular economy perspective.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículoe00811
PublicaciónSustainable Materials and Technologies
EstadoPublicada - abr 2024


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