Skip to content

☁️ "Drawing Down Refrigerant Emissions"


Photo by Mishaal Zahed / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Host: James McWalter
Guest: Louis Potok | Founder & CEO | Recoolit
Category: ☁️ Carbon Reduction | Refrigerants

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[0:16] “Recoolit is empowering sustainable cooling around the world. Cooling, which is air conditioning and refrigeration, are two of the most important inventions of the last 100 years. […] But there's this huge climate impact that comes from the chemicals inside those devices called refrigerants.”

[0:36] “What Recoolit is doing is partnering with AC technicians around the world to collect those harmful refrigerants, preventing them from being leaked into the atmosphere, and then destroying them and selling carbon offsets for the avoided emissions. So we are the software layer in that process that goes from the source device that's being decommissioned into the hands of the AC technician, into a cylinder, into a big oven to burn it up. And then the data goes to the offset buyer.”

[11:10] “These [refrigerant] gasses are anywhere from 1,300 to 2000, to up to 10,000 for the older gasses, times worse than CO2. And so from a carbon offset or carbon accounting perspective, that gives you a huge amount of leeway.”

[13:36] “The building owners, especially for things like hotels, shopping malls, office buildings, do care about sustainability, and we are giving a sort of proof of sustainable disposal to the building owners. For the freelance technicians, it is really as mostly about the money even if they care about the environment, […] that alone is not nearly motivating enough to go through this extra hassle and acquire equipment they don't have.”

[14:20] “We are not at this time dealing with compliance market offsets, we're dealing only with voluntary markets. […] Mostly it's corporations that have made some kind of carbon neutral or net zero commitment. Historically, what they're looking for is just stack up as many offsets as they can regardless of quality. […] Thankfully, we're seeing some early adopters, more sophisticated companies, especially from the software sector, focus really intensely on quality and are willing to pay more for it. So we are kind of riding that wave because we believe that our offsets are as high quality as anything else on the market.”

[15:40] “100% if you don't buy our offsets, that gas is going into the atmosphere, where it's going to sit and increase the radiative forcing of the stratosphere. […] Another aspect of quality that the carbon removal stuff does not stack up quite as well, or where there's a little bit more science risk is permanence. […] For us, we have very, very clear permanence because the gasses get burned up, the constituent parts get in some cases baked into the cement, or are just not reactive, and they're not going to recombine and get dealt with as normal waste wood. So […] 100% additionality, 100% permanence.

[31:42] “The benefits we will talk about with blockchain applied to carbon credits is democratizing access to carbon finance for the masses, basically normal people can make money trading derivatives on carbon offsets. […] In the blockchain world they talk about the Oracle problem, which is that anything that happens on the blockchain is traceable and verifiable. But if you care about some real world activity, somebody has to put that real world activity on the blockchain. And how do you do that in a way that makes sure that that real world activity happens and is the thing you wanted? And that is the core problem of carbon offsets. And that problem remains whether you're trading those carbon offsets in a Postgres database or on the blockchain?”

Rating: ⚡⚡⚡

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify | Google
🕰️ 40 min | 🗓️ 04/19/2022
✅ Time saved: 38 min