Natural Refrigerants are Changing the World

The refrigerant industry as we know it.

In the refrigeration industry, refrigerants are imperative — that’s a fact. But it isn’t necessary to have refrigerants that are made of harmful substances, when natural alternatives are available.

The various domestic and global policies that have been implemented over the years have served as a catalyst for growth of natural refrigerants.


What about natural refrigerants?

The use of natural refrigerants in large industrial systems has always been possible, but using other refrigerants was simply easier.

Refrigerants like R-22 and R-401A have been the refrigerants of choice because of their ease of accessibility and functionality in industrial systems such as cold rooms and warehouses and ice rinks.

But that’s about to change.

The future is green.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced a phaseout of ozone-depleted substances, which has called for an end to R-22 production — the most common HCFC being used in existing air conditioners and refrigeration equipment — by 2020.

More and more industrial markets are beginning to embrace green tech and are expressing interest in natural refrigerants, which will drastically change the industrial refrigeration industry as we know it.

What’s so good about natural refrigerants?

Natural refrigerants are natural and don’t contain all the hazardous materials that other refrigerants do. In short, they’re better for the environment.

They are energy efficient, save money, and are sustainable.

  • Besides the ozone depletion, natural refrigerants have a low Global Warming Potential (GWP), meaning they have a lower amount of heat trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases. Which makes them a much more sustainable option than your typical refrigerant.
  • Since natural refrigerants conduct energy more efficiently and lessen the work the compressors in your unit need to do, they save you money on operating and repair or replacement costs as well.
  • Natural refrigerants utilize energy derived from natural sources, which means they use less energy to accomplish the same tasks as systems using alternative refrigerants.

Natural solutions to all your refrigeration needs.

  • Ammonia (NH3): a well-known refrigerant used in larger industrial settings and the most widely used at Industrial Refrigerated Systems Inc. Highly efficient, ammonia performs higher than its synthetic refrigerant counterparts because of its thermodynamic properties. It also has zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and Global Warming Potential (GWP), making it one of the most environmentally friendly refrigerants. The only drawback is that it hasn’t been fully approved yet because of the safety concerns surrounding toxicity and flammability.
  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2): CO2 is one of the most practical and efficient refrigerants because of its heat exchange, low pumping power, and ability to operate with low condensing pressure during colder months. Because Carbon Dioxide is a naturally occurring substance and is abundant in the atmosphere, CO2 is an attractive refrigerant with zero ODP and a GWP of 1.
  • Hydrocarbons: with excellent thermodynamic properties, hydrocarbons like propane and isobutene make great natural alternatives for refrigerants. Hydrocarbons have a zero ODP and negligible GWP, and in this respect they are on the same efficiency level as HCF refrigerants. However, because they are so flammable, they are often more expensive than Carbon Dioxide or Ammonia due to the need for explosion-proof enclosures for electrical equipment.

Looking for a natural solution for your industrial cooling equipment? Contact us today to speak with our refrigeration experts.

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