Skip to content

Accelerating Clean Cooling & Heating

Home » News » Press Release: PFAS F-gases in Mobile Air-Conditioning – A Neglected Issue with an Easy Fix

Press Release: PFAS F-gases in Mobile Air-Conditioning – A Neglected Issue with an Easy Fix

PFAS F-gases Mobile Air-Conditioning

March 13, 2024. Brussels.

The issue of fluorinated refrigerants and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in automobile mobile air-conditioning (MAC) systems has so far been sidelined, even if it is considered one of the biggest emission sources of “forever chemicals” in the environment.

With the replacement of systems running with R134a with R1234yf, the burden on the environment from trifluoracetic acid (TFA) pollution from leakages is steadily increasing.

ATMOsphere modeled that this resulted in around 57,000 tons of TFA added to the European environment from 2012 until 2023. From 2024 until the first PFAS measures are likely to be enacted in 2028, it is estimated that an additional 14,000 tons of TFA could be added to the European environment. This would be ¼ of the amount emitted in ten years in just four years.

Using fluorinated refrigerants in mobile air-conditioning equipment is not essential, as safe and efficient alternatives are already available. Some OEMs have published timelines of their phase outs of fluorinated refrigerants in both electric and internal combustion engine vehicles.

European policymakers can avoid this additional pollution by focusing on this issue and tackling fluorinated refrigerants that are PFAS in a holistic and comprehensive fashion.

ATMOsphere calls for the following policy actions to be taken at European level:

  • Revise the EU MAC Directive, which has never been updated since 2006 and whose review report has not been published by the Commission.
  • Move swiftly on the EU Universal PFAS Restriction Proposal, especially on fluorinated gases and where alternatives exist.
  • Deliver the legally mandated report for MAC systems in the EU F-gas Regulation.

For more information, consult the factsheet at this link.