Recent EPA-Approved Low GWP Refrigerant Additions to SNAP List

May 2, 2015

EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program evaluates substitute chemicals and technologies that are safe for the ozone layer. Recently, EPA expanded the list of SNAP-approved substitutes to include more low-global warming potential (GWP) alternatives that can replace both the ozone-depleting substances and high-GWP hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

After receiving input from industry, environmental groups and others, EPA has approved additional low-GWP hydrocarbon refrigerants, subject to use conditions, in the following refrigeration and air conditioning applications:

  • Ethane in very low-temperature refrigeration and non-mechanical heat transfer;
  • Isobutane in retail food refrigeration (stand-alone commercial refrigerators and freezers) and vending machines;
  • Propane in household refrigerators, freezers, combination refrigerators and freezers, vending machines, and room air conditioning units;
  • The hydrocarbon (HC) blend R-441A in retail food refrigeration (stand-alone commercial refrigerators and freezers), vending machines, and room air-conditioning units; and – Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC)-32 (difluoromethane) in room air conditioning units.

These refrigerants are used in many of these applications in Europe and Asia. EPA is also exempting all of these substances, except HFC-32, from the Clean Air Act venting prohibition, as current evidence suggests that their venting, release, or disposal does not pose a threat to the environment. For more information, visit the EPA SNAP site.