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USA:  Honeywell has announced the launch of a new range of HFO refrigerant products for applications ranging from supermarket refrigeration to industrial cooling, and includes blends designed to replace R22, R134a and R404A.

The new products further expand Honeywell’s Solstice® line of hydrofluoro-olefin (HFO) refrigerants, blowing agents, aerosol propellants and solvents. Solstice products offer lower global warming potentials with similar or better cooling performance when compared to previous-generation products.

George Koutsaftes, global business director for Honeywell’s Fluorine Products business said: “Honeywell is committed to continuing to invest in the development and introduction of new offerings, to make it easier for industry to adopt and use alternatives to higher global warming potential refrigerants.”

The range comprises:

Honeywell Solstice Range of HFO RefrigerantsSolstice zd (R1233zzd): a non-flammable HFO with a GWP equal to 1, for use in low-pressure centrifugal chillers. Chiller specialist Trane has already announced that it will use the refrigerant in its CenTraVac large capacity centrifugal chillers in Europe and the Middle East.

Solstice ze (R1234ze (E)) an HFO refrigerant that can be used in equipment that traditionally used R134a (i.e., chillers and refrigeration equipment). Solstice ze offers a GWP of less than 1.

Solstice N13 (R450A): an HFO blend for chillers, as well as medium-temperature applications such as supermarket display cases and self-contained refrigeration units that require a non-flammable refrigerant solution. It is designed to replace R134a and offers a GWP that is 60 per cent lower than the GWP of R134a.

Solstice N40 (R448A): an HFO blend for low- and medium-temperature refrigeration equipment such as supermarket freezer cases. It is designed to replace R22 and R404A, and offers a GWP that is 66 per cent lower than R404A. In supermarket trials in the US and Europe, the company said, Solstice N40 demonstrated three per cent lower energy consumption in low-temperature applications and 5 to 16 per cent lower energy consumption than R404A in medium-temperature applications.

For more information download the Honeywell Refrigerant Pressure/Temperture Chart for your smartphone or tablet here.

 

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UK:  With such a large focus on high GWP refrigerants the big brand Air Conditioning manufacturers have all moved forward with the use of HFC-32, a viable lower GWP refrigerant replacement for R410A.

The technology has been available for just over 2 years now and companies such as Daikin, Panasonic, Fujitsu General, Hitachi and Toshiba are all now using HFC-32.

With more manufacturers releasing R32 systems and the inevitability of larger R32 systems hitting the market in the future, it is imperative that technicians are fully trained on the new tools and equipment needed to service this market as well as understanding the safety of what is still considered a flammable refrigerant.

Many service technicians may not be aware that specialist tools are needed to service R32 systems. R32 is mildly flammable and has higher operating pressures and not using R32 compliant equipment can compromise safety which could result in injury. 

While some technicians may not have yet started working on R32 air conditioning systems, it is highly likely they will in the future, so when buying new equipment, they should make sure it is R32 compliant as this will ensure safe work practice and save equipment upgrade costs in the future.

View or download our R32 Fact Sheet here

 

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USA:  Almcoe Refrigeration is the first commercial refrigeration contractor to take up EOS Climate’s Refrigerant Asset System (RAS).

With refrigerants being thousands of times more potent greenhouse gases than CO2, and often released into the atmosphere due to improper handling of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment at end-of-life. The RAS provides refrigerant-intensive industries, such as supermarkets, hotels and manufacturers of refrigeration and HVAC equipment as well as their service contractors, with ways to manage refrigerants as assets and decide when to invest in their conservation and maintenance or monetize them when they reach end of life usefulness.

The refrigerant asset system deploys integrated barcode scanning technology across the refrigerant value chain to track every pound of refrigerant, from the point of purchase through the end of life. Deployed at scale, RAS can prevent millions of metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from reaching the atmosphere, EOS Climate says.

Schematic showing Refrigerant Life Cycle | Refrigerant and data are tracked across the supply chain, enabling your refrigerant to become the asset.

Almcoe started rolling out the system to its team of refrigeration technicians this year after conducting beta testing in 2013. The company is using the system to track its refrigerant inventory, reduce loss, manage distribution of refrigerants to supermarket customers, provide leak data for EPA compliance reporting, and capture value from refrigerant assets for itself and its customers.

"We saw during our beta test the benefits of tracking inventory with the Refrigeration Asset System and decided on the merits of that alone to implement the system," said Bill Almquist, president and owner of Almcoe Refrigeration and son of the founder. "It's going to be a great management tool for us."

Earlier this month Jaco Environmental integrated RAS across all 27 of its appliance de-manufacturing facilities in the US. At the time, the companies said this created the world’s first transparent, cradle-to-cradle solution for refrigerants recovered from residential appliances and vending machines.

About EOS Climate: EOS Climate is the global leader in refrigerant life cycle management. As pressure builds on corporations to track and minimize greenhouse gas emissions. Their solutions have delivered more than 4 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent in emission reductions.  For more information, please visit http://www.eosclimate.com

About Almcoe Refrigeration: William Almquist and William Coe founded Almcoe Refrigeration in 1960 to provide quality refrigeration products and services. Almcoe specializes in many refrigeration services, including: Food Processing Industrial Storage Facilities; HVAC Helicopter Sets; Large Grocery Stores; and Refrigerant Conversions. 

RWANDA:  Businesses and refrigeration and air-conditioning experts from 28 African countries are meeting in Kigali, Rwanda until Friday to discuss adopting alternative hydrocarbon refrigerants and how to safely handle and service equipment that uses them.

UNEP representatives have asked air-conditioning and refrigeration business owners to consider putting a limit on the amount of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment they buy which use HCFC's.

"You are giving quotas to importers, so that means you are also starving the market," said Marvin Kamthunzi, a UNEP consultant.

Kamthunzi noted that with Europe having already banned HCFCs since 2010 are now using natural and alternative refrigerants that do not cause the same damage to the environment.

Rwanda has already reduced its use of HCFCs in air-conditioning and refrigeration systems by 30 per cent. 20% higher than that required by the Montreal Protocol.

"We are part of the global village and it is our duty to comply at least for the sake of others," said Rose Mukankomeje, director general of the Rwanda Environment Management Authority.

One air-conditioning and refrigeration business owner expressed concern about the challenges of reducing HCFC usage on such a short time line.

"I think it's going to be a nightmare because when R-12 (another refrigerant) was being phased out, we already had an alternative in the market," said a participant.

Kamthunzi said training would be necessary to ensure that technicians know how to properly handle any new refrigerants on the market.

CHINA:  China has stated that it will cut emissions of hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants by 280 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) – similar to the annual carbon footprint of Spain.

 “This sends a strong signal to HFC producers and consumers around the world to speed up their efforts to get out of HFCs and into climate friendly alternatives,” said Durwood Zaelke of the US-based Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development, which monitors efforts to phase out the climate-changing chemicals.

The announcement from China has been welcomed around the world after China’s chemicals industry – the world’s biggest producer of HFCs – has for the past decade lobbied against curbs after making huge profits.

It has also come at a time when it has also been reported that without action to cut back HFCs, by 2050, emissions from the gases could be equivalent to 12% of annual CO2 emissions under a business-as-usual scenario, and up to 75% of annual greenhouse gas emissions if countries make big cuts to energy-related CO2.

Natasha Hurley, a campaigner with the Environmental Investigation Agency, said, “There doesn’t appear to be too much information about longer term targets on cutting emissions from HFCs, but I’d expect the reductions to be deeper over time.”

Campaigners have said up to 200 billion tonnes of CO2e could be prevented from being pumped into the atmosphere if a fast phase down of HFCs by 2020 under the 1987 Montreal Protocol was undertaken

China’s target to cut CO2 emissions from the HFC production follows a deal signed between President Obama and President Xi Jinping last year, including a formal agreement to use the Montreal Protocol, rather than the Kyoto Protocol, to cut the production and use of the chemicals.

At the G7 summit in Brussels on Thursday, leaders reaffirmed their support for global efforts to cut emissions from HFCs.

“We will also continue to take action to promote the rapid deployment of climate-friendly and safe alternatives in motor vehicle air-conditioning and we will promote public procurement of climate-friendly HFC alternatives,” G7 leaders said in a joint statement.

China’s government has also secured international funding to help domestic chemical makers switch to less carbon-intensive compounds, such as HFOs.

Yet green groups warn that HFOs generate toxic by-products, urging manufacturers of fridges and air conditioning units to use ‘natural’ refrigerant chemicals instead, such as ammonia or carbon dioxide.

USA:  DuPont has announced that it predicts nearly 3 million vehicles worldwide will use HFO-1234yf as a refrigerant by the end of 2014.

With the very public exception of Mercedes the majority of automakers are currently using HFO-1234yf, to comply with the European Union (EU) Mobile Air Conditioning (MAC) Directive

Thierry F. J. Vanlancker, president, DuPont Chemicals & Fluoroproducts said, “We expect higher conversion in the European market, driven by the need to comply with the MAC Directive.”

Adoption of HFO-1234yf may also be driven by the anticipated regulatory developments particularly in the U.S. as the rule-making is expected as early as this year, eliminating the use of HFC-134a in new vehicle air conditioning.  Japan is also expected to issue final rule-making on an HFC phase-down schedule, which will cover automotive refrigerants.

HFO-1234yf was specifically developed to enable automakers to comply with the EU MAC Directive, which requires that all new model type cars sold in EU Member States use an automotive refrigerant that has a global warming potential (GWP) of less than 150. By 2017, all new cars sold in Member States must meet this requirement and most of the world’s automakers have indicated they will pr already have adopted HFO-1234yf, which DuPont sells as Opteon® YF.

HFO-1234yf has a GWP of less than one, which is well below the threshold established by the MAC Directive. The GWP is 99.9 percent lower than that of HFC-134a, the refrigerant it was developed to replace. In addition to its extremely low global warming potential, it's also is quite energy efficient, which can help maximize the fuel efficiency of cars, further reducing potential impact to the climate.

“We believe Opteon® YF will help significantly reduce the environmental footprint of cars over time, which is a critical sustainability need around the world,” said Kathryn K. McCord, global business director, DuPont Fluorochemicals. “If this product were adopted in all new cars sold in the EU, North America, and Japan, those cars would have reduced emissions equivalent to using around a billion fewer gallons of fuel or driving 15-32 billion fewer miles.”

As we previously reported a number of voices in Germany continue to raise concerns about this product relative to flammability and potential incineration byproducts. Mercedes has refused to switch from the existing R134a refrigerant to the new refrigerant R1234yfdpuf due to these issues. However, these claims have been vehemently denied by DuPont and extensively and thoroughly investigated by third party research initiatives in settings that simulate real-life situations.

Based on results of these evaluations, HFO-1234yf has been accepted by the automotive industry and by regulatory bodies. Most recently, a German professor pointed at potential safety risks based on lab results showing formation of carbonyl fluoride from decomposition of this product through combustion.

“In reality, it has been well known for a long time that carbonyl fluoride can potentially form from decomposition of many fluorine-containing refrigerants, including HFC-134a, which has been safely used in more than a billion vehicles over the last two decades,” said Mario Nappa, a distinguished DuPont scientist who is a recognized authority on fluorine chemistry. “Further, it is well documented in scientific literature that if carbonyl fluoride were to form in an extreme, theoretical case, it would exist for only a fraction of a second, not long enough to put people at risk.”

USA:  An intent-to-sue notice has been released accusing the EPA of killing the development of environmentally friendly refrigerants while the HCFC-22 is slowly phased out and saturating the market based on flawed data, according to a coalition of alternative refrigerant producers and distributors called New Era Group Inc group.

In the notice, the coalition group pledged to sue if the EPA did not launch a more comprehensive inquiry into existing HCFC-22 inventories and companies’ future needs for the compound.

The production of HCFC-22 is not set to be outlawed in the U.S. until 2020, however during the phaseout period the EPA controls the amount of HCFC-22 consumption through allowances. But because the agency has failed to collect reliable data, it is said that they allocated more allowances than necessary and in the process devastated the reclamation and alternative-refrigerant industries, which can’t compete with an oversupply of cheap HCFC-22, according to the notice.

Without reliable data, the agency’s forthcoming rule will perpetuate the glut, the notice said. Proposed in December, the rule would cover the final five years of the phaseout and allow production of more than 40 million kilograms of refrigerant.

“As EPA is promulgating the final rule in the HCFC-22 phaseout, EPA must reliably and credibly account for the existing HCFC-22 inventory and make every possible effort to assure that existing reclamation capability will by fully utilized and, at the end of the phaseout period, no excess inventory will remain,” the notice said. “The purpose of New Era Group’s action will be to ensure EPA does that.”

The 2015-19 rulemaking will be the EPA’s fourth regulation around HCFC-22 after Congress tasked the agency in 1990 with implementing an international protocol for eliminating chlorofluorocarbons. In 2009, the EPA began reducing allowances for the refrigerant, raising prices and boosting the nascent markets for reclaimed and recycled HCFC-22 and alternative refrigerants, according to the petition.

But in April 2013, the agency allowed an additional 100 million pounds of HCFC-22 production until 2015, purportedly resulting in a vast oversupply that reduced demand for alternatives.

In the rulemaking, the EPA made “little or no effort” to determine existing inventory levels, instead attempting to “guess or estimate” how much virgin HCFC-22 allocation holders and companies in related industries have accumulated over the years and how much more was really needed, according to New Era.

“Guesses and estimates are not facts, and when facts are reasonably ascertainable, guesses and estimates are not an acceptable basis for regulatory decisions,” the notice said. “The reason there has long been a mismatch between what the market needs and what EPA allocates is EPA’s persistent unwillingness to collect reliable HCFC-22 data inventory.”

Specifically, the EPA relied in its 2013 rule on “anecdotal information” and “industry feedback,” according to the notice. The agency is allegedly basing its forthcoming rule on the responses of nine companies that supposedly hold about 80 percent of the refrigerant currently on the market.

As New Era alleged, those companies don’t hold “anywhere near” that much HCFC-22, and their responses from the end of the 2012 year are too outdated to underpin the agency’s proposal.

Of the 19 U.S. HCFC-22 allowance holders, the EPA has surveyed less than half, according to the notice.

“Our clients have noted repeatedly that EPA’s attempt to survey nine companies is insufficient to address the state of HCFC-22 inventory,” the notice said.

New Era is composed of Altair Partners LP, American Refrigerants Inc., Combs Investment Property, Consolidated Refrigerants Reclaim, Diversified Pure Chem, Dynatemp International, ICOR International, North Lakes Distributing Inc., Refrigerants Inc., Refrigerants Salvage Inc., RMS of Georgia, Safe Disposal Systems Inc., Summit Refrigerants and USA Refrigerants.

The companies are represented by J. Gordon Arbuckle of Patton Boggs LLP.

Research and Markets, the world’s largest market research store has published an industry report the flourine industry in China.

There is no doubt that fluorine industry has been one of the fastest developing and most promising chemical industries in China and China is the second largest economic entity in the world. Thus, fluorine chemicals, such as inorganic fluoride, refrigerant, fluor-polymer and fluor-intermediate four main sectors are absolutely worth investigating.

After ten-year development, with the appreciated policies implemented, China has formed a complete industrial chain, from fluorite supply to each sector in downstream. However, most China's production of fluorine chemicals concentrates in primary products so far, and there are a high proportion of these primary products for export.

Central Government adopts a series of policies to protect the fluorite resources and upgrade the industry structure. For example, exploitation quota has been set up since 2010 and it is predicted that the quota will be generally reduced in the coming five years. Moreover, fluorine chemical industry has been listed as a sub-plan in the 12th Five-Year Plan. A series of polices in restriction of fluorite and hydrogen fluoride production has been put forward and integration of fluorite resources forcefully becomes the hot point after 2010.

Domestic demand for fluorine products is estimated to keep increasing steadily in the coming five years, which is considered to be the most important driven factor to China's fluorine chemical industry. So it is crucial to find out the consumption situation in China.

In order to have a comprehensive understanding of fluorine industry, lots of investigation has been made. To inorganic fluoride, a widely investigation is made and not only traditional products, but also lithium hexafluorophosphate which is fast developed in the past two years, is further investigated. To fluor-refrigerant, HCFC-22, HFC-134a and HFC-410A are deeply surveyed and some valuable analysis has been done. To fluor-polymer, both resin and rubber are researched. To fluor-intermediate, major synthesis routes are investigated and some exclusive opinions are raised. To sum up, in detail, analysis and forecast about each sector of fluorine industry in China are presented in this report.

Key Topics Covered:

1. Overview of fluorine industry in China

2. Fluorite supply in China

3. Inorganic fluoride in China

4. Fluohydrocarbon (HCFCs & HFCs) in China

5. Fluor polymer in China

6. Fluor intermediate

7. Environment and investment analysis of fluorine industry

8. Forecast

9. Conclusion

10. Profiles

 

Companies Mentioned:

  • Arkema
  • Do-Fluoride Chemicals Co., Ltd.
  • DuPont
  • Jiangsu Meilan Chemical Group Co., Ltd.
  • Juhua Group Corporation
  • Shandong Dongyue Group Ltd.
  • Shanghai 3F New Materials Co., Ltd.
  • Zhejiang Yongtai Technology Co., Ltd.

The survey report is available to purchase from Research and Markets.

As refrigerant use practices are constantly evolving, particularly to establish which refrigerants are suitable for which applications, the European Fluorocarbons Technical Committee (EFCTC) has published a factsheet presenting objective basic accident and incident statistics for all refrigerants types, including alternative refrigerants and Fluorocarbons.

The factsheet presents the results of a non-comprehensive survey/collection of the global frequency of accidents due to refrigerant releases in the last eight years , in order to assess the safety of all refrigerants : fluorocarbons, ammonia (R-717), hydrocarbons (mainly propane R-290, propylene R-1270, butane R-600, isobutane R-600a ), and CO2 (carbon dioxide R-744).

It is widely recognized that refrigerants are selected on the basis of a number of criteria which include safety, energy efficiency and environmental impact.

Fluorocarbons (HFCs) have a favourable safety profile since they display low flammability and low toxicity characteristics.

Alternative refrigerants such as ammonia, hydrocarbons and CO2 are used on a much more limited basis than the fluorocarbons (HFCs) because they do not easily meet the currently applicable standards and local codes designed to provide safety in use for the general public, and to contribute to safe servicing and maintenance for engineers. It is, for example, well-known that ammonia is toxic, that hydrocarbons are extremely flammable and that CO2 is an asphyxiant that requires very high pressure to operate.

You can download the factsheet by clicking here

About EFCTC

Fluorocarbons are used as feedstocks, as refrigerants, as solvents and as blowing agents for insulation plastic foams. The Sector Group’s main objective is to monitor the constantly changing legislation related to HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons), PFCs (perfluorinated carbons) and SF6 (sulphur hexafluoride), CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons), in the EU and at global level.

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A Guide to Common Refrigerants and Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and Global Warming Potential (GWP) are indicated below.

  • Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) of a chemical compound is the relative amount of degradation it can cause to the ozone layer.
  • Global Warming Potential (GWP) is a measure of how much a given mass of a gas contributes to global warming. GWP is a relative scale which compares the amount of heat trapped by greenhouse gas to the amount of heat trapped in the same mass of Carbon Dioxide. The GWP of Carbon Dioxide is by definition 1.

 

closed refridgerant cycle

Guide to flammable refrigerants  Low GWP Refrigerants
 

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