A new paper is being touted by promoters of so-called “natural” refrigerants despite the questions it is already facing from the scientific community.

The Hansen paper, Photodissociation of CF3CHO provides a new source of CHF3 (HFC-23) in the atmosphere: implications for new refrigerants, has drawn questions from atmospheric scientists because its scope and methodology do not support its sweeping claims and conclusions. Concerns about the paper include:

  1. The paper and underlying research has NOT yet undergone a peer-review process.
  2. The paper draws conclusions about the atmospheric impact of HFOs, but the experiments were NOT conducted at simulated atmospheric conditions.
  3. The paper draws conclusions that are based on using acetaldehyde as a reference, which is NOT proven to be applicable.
  4. The paper is NOT consistent with previously published, widely referenced, peer-reviewed research, which concluded that “the formation of HFCs from the tropospheric photolysis of fluoroaldehydes is of no significance.”

In fact, the European FluoroCarbons Technical Committee (EFCTC) analyzed the paper and found that its conclusions are “entirely different to [those] made in an earlier published peer-reviewed paper that has been widely referenced in other atmospheric chemistry studies.”

As always, when considering the implications of new research, context and a comprehensive view of the data and the full body of research is essential. For more analysis on the claims from the paper, we encourage you to read and share the EFCTC’s full position paper to support a balanced conversation around this important topic.