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Chlorofluorocarbons – often referred to simply as CFCs – have got a pretty bad reputation and are most well known for depleting the ozone layer. They also, however, have the same effect as greenhouse gases and contribute towards global warming. When disposing of refrigerants, therefore, top priority must be given to preventing CFCs from being released into the atmosphere and to removing and destroying this class of compounds in a safe and controlled manner. REMONDIS Industrie Service has built up a special division called RENOX which offers a range of services and focuses on managing the disposal of special chemicals such as CFCs using legally compliant and environmentally friendly methods.
Of all the greenhouse gases, the most important chlorofluorocarbons originate purely from human activity and have been used for a wide variety of industrial applications since the 1930s. They are used as a propellant gas in aerosol cans, as a blowing agent for foam, as a refrigerant in fridges, freezer cabinets, air conditioning systems and cooling devices and as a cleaning agent for textiles and sensitive elements in the electronics industry.
Many old fridges still contain CFCs which are so damaging to our climate. It is essential, therefore, that these appliances are dismantled professionally
The foundations for a road map leading to the end of the use of CFCs were set out in a number of international agreements in the 80s and 90s. As a result, EC Regulation 2037/2000 stipulates, for example, that cooling devices using R22 refrigerants and mixtures of such refrigerants may no longer be used from 01 January 2015. Other refrigerants will follow in the next few years.
All this will have an extensive effect on the areas of our life that involve “cooling”. Discussions, for example, are being held on what type of refrigerant should be added to car air conditioning systems in the future and how the refrigerants currently used in vehicles can be professionally removed and destroyed. One thing that is clear is that removing and destroying refrigerants such as CFCs – also in mixtures with inflammable gases – involve considerable risks and must only be carried out by professional companies with the relevant levels of expertise. This has been laid down in the ‘ChemOzonSchichtV’ (ordinance on ozone-depleting chemicals) and the ‘ChemKlimaschutzV’ (chemicals / climate protection ordinance) as well as in the relevant EU directives.
REMONDIS Industrie Service has extensive experience of handling hazardous materials. For a number of years now, it has been operating a special division called RENOX which deals exclusively with special chemicals that are generated as industrial waste and need to be treated with extra special care due to their dangerous nature, reactivity and toxicity. The division’s portfolio of services covers three different areas. ‘RENOX Transport’ is responsible for all aspects of transporting the substances safely from the customers’ to the disposal plants. ‘RENOX Treatment’ deals with the chemical physical treatment phase. And, finally, ‘RENOX Direct Incineration’ operates the area of business involving the hazardous waste incineration plants where the materials are fed directly into the furnaces via barrel elevators and connecting systems for liquid and gaseous substances. Thanks to the type of high-temperature incineration plant used, which is run at a minimum temperature of 1,100°C, materials with a longer reaction time can safely react without any problems. This is also true for the various types of CFCs which are collected in special containers and then carefully connected to the high temperature incineration system at the company’s Bramsche Industrial Recycling Centre. As a result, the refrigerants are completely destroyed so there is no chance whatsoever of them damaging the environment.