R22 refrigerant is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), which was commonly used in air conditioning, process chiller and industrial refrigeration plant applications.
R22 refrigerant was used alongside the highly ozone depleting (ODP) CFC’s, but has a relatively low ozone depletion potential. However, even this lower ODP is no longer considered acceptable.
The Montreal Protocol, modified by the EU, enforces the end of supply of R22 refrigerant by 2015, due to the detrimental effect the refrigerant can have on the environment and the ozone layer.
R22 refrigerant is not the only HFC likely to be phased out. The Committee of the European Parliament has also proposed banning the use of all fluorinated gases, including HFCs in air conditioners, heat pumps and refrigeration appliances from 2020.