EPA Awards $15 Million in Grants to Combat Climate-Damaging Hydrofluorocarbons

EPA Awards $15 Million in Grants to Combat Climate-Damaging Hydrofluorocarbons

The five recipients will develop innovative HFC reclamation and destruction methods.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has awarded nearly $15 million in grants to five recipients nationwide to address the environmental impact of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

According to a recent release, these grants—part of President Biden's Investing in America Agenda—aim to reclaim and destroy HFCs, potent greenhouse gases commonly used in refrigeration and air conditioning.

“This diverse set of projects will tackle the destruction and reclamation of HFCs in innovative ways to help protect our climate and bolster American technologies,” Joe Goffman, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, said in a statement.

Funded by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, the grants range from $1.5 million to nearly $3.8 million. Recipients include the University of Washington, Texas A&M University, Drexel University, the University of California-Riverside, and the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Technology Institute. These projects are expected to reduce the need for new HFCs by increasing the reuse of existing ones and developing new destruction methods.

The University of Washington’s project will use alkaline hydrolysis to destroy HFCs without releasing harmful byproducts. Texas A&M University will focus on cost-effective HFC reclamation technologies and reverse logistics. Drexel University aims to develop a portable HFC destruction device for on-site treatment. The University of California-Riverside will create scalable catalytic technologies for HFC destruction. The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Technology Institute will pilot a zero-emission technique to chemically convert and destroy HFCs.

The EPA plans to finalize and award these grants by the summer of 2024, with projects expected to begin in fall and winter. HFCs—used in refrigeration, air conditioning, aerosols and foam products—have a climate impact that can be thousands of times stronger than carbon dioxide. Under the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, the Biden-Harris Administration aims to reduce HFC levels by 85 percent by 2036.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor for Environmental Protection.