Since 1993, Refrigerant Recovery NZ has safely collected and destroyed about 490,000 kilograms of refrigerant gases through to March 2021.
This has had the impact of saving up to 472,000 tonnes of ozone and reducing the build-up of greenhouse gases by up to 1,156,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
Evolution of refrigerants
This chart shows the evolution of refrigerants over time as various protocols, such as that of Montreal on HCFCs have impacted the type of refrigerant used within the industry.
As time has progressed, HCFCs have significantly reduced as a proportion of the refrigerants destroyed, in favour of HFCs.
In time, we expect to see the HFCs being replaced by HFOs as the Kigali Amendment starts to take effect.
Analysis of refrigerant destroyed to 31 March
As part of the Recovery refrigerant destruction process, a sample of each cylinder is taken, allowing us to see the types of refrigerants being destroyed.
This is particularly helpful as certain molecules, such as 143a and R32, are flammable in high enough concentrations.
As the proportions of these molecules increase in the mix being collected and destroyed, further investment in infrastructure will be required so we can manage the changing risk profile of the operation.
Analysis of refrigerant destroyed by year
This graph shows the amount of refrigerant destroyed every year by Recovery. Typically, we destroy a little over 30,000kg per annum.
Dips in the volumes destroyed are often as a result of technology change impacting on the value of refrigerant, and in 2021 the volumes destroyed were down due to transport issues from the Covid impact.
The two standout examples in the chart are in 2015, when R22 was being stored as systems were being decommissioned, and in 2019 as we see companies now store the valuable 404A for reuse.
These events have an impact on Recovery as there tends to be pressure on us for faster customer cylinder turnaround - because the cylinder fleet normally used for recovery purposes by the customer is engaged in storage.