“INTRODUCING AN INNOVATIVE CIRCULAR ECONOMY ECOSYSTEM TO SUPPORT THE REUSE OF REFRIGERANTS EXTRACTED FROM A WIDE RANGE OF HVAC-R SYSTEMS OPERATING UNDER THE BUILDING SECTOR”
Under the European Green Deal, the European Union (EU) is committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 and reaching net climate neutrality by 2050. Emissions from fluorinated gases (F-gases) are a critical factor of this effort, as they have a warming effect up to 22,800 times greater than the same amount of CO2. Against this background, an updated F-gas Regulation (517/2014) entered into force on 1st January 2015, including a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) quota system. Τhis paper/presentation serves as an introduction to an innovative F-gas circular economy scheme (“3R ECOSYSTEM”) currently under development to meet the EU F-gas policy by promoting the efficient recovery of existing refrigerants contained in HVAC-R applications of building sector. Special emphasis has been given to both pure HFCs (like R32 or R134a) and HFC blends (like R410A, R407C and R404A), giving priority to reuse through recycling/reclamation or appropriate destruction (depending on F-gas quality). The key operating principles of the 3R ECOSYSTEM are briefly described as well as the 3 main components of it: a Self-certification platform with reliable self-certification & self-declaration schemes for F-gas composition analysis before and after recycling (if applied); F-gas identification and recycling IOT equipment (prototype unit); an online marketplace platform to provide transparency and data on acting parties, refrigerant volumes & types and running prices, too. From July 2021, the 3R ECOSYSTEM is being demonstrated in 3 EU countries: i) Slovakia (SK), ii) Czech Republic (CZ) and iii) Hungary (HU). Given that the demos will run until June 2023, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) & preliminary results are both reported in relation to the recovered F-gas quantities through the 3R ECOSYSTEM and the equivalent CO2 reduction, assuming an installed refrigerant base from 4 main types of units: Residential, Commercial, Industrial and Commercial Refrigeration. Finally, an immediate expansion of the 3R ECOSYSTEM has been envisaged in parallel in the EU and outside the EU after the end of the demos. The respective quantitative targets to be reached by 2028, in terms of CO2 emission savings, are also outlined.
Nikolaos has more than 15 years of experience, over various positions, in a Leading HVAC-R manufacturer, over several positions in Greece and in Belgium (Regional Headquarters for EMEA). At the moment, he is leading the Service and Solution team in Greece. Throughout his career, he has led several Sales, Technical Support Teams and participated in merging of organizations.
The last years, he is also involved in several projects, related with digital transformation and business innovation. Most of them, related with improvements on backend systems and with the introduction of business models, supporting circular economies schemes.
His academic background is Mechanical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens with a Master of Science in Controls Systems Engineering from the University of Sheffield and a Master of Philosophy in in Control Systems from City University of London. Currently studying for his Phd related with the environmental impact of the introduction of the heat pumps in the European Market.