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Refrigerants - Environmental Properties

Physical and environmental properties of some common refrigerants.

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RefrigerantFormulaBoiling temperature
Critical temperature
Ammonia NH3 -33 133 Ammonia - An efficient refrigerant used successfully in industrial applications through many
Highly toxic. Careful consideration must be given to any design or application.
Penetrating odor, soluble in water. harmless in concentration up to 1/30%, non flammable, explosive
Large industrial plants
R-11 CCl3F 8.9 198 R11 is a single chlorofluorocarbon or CFC compound.
High chlorine content and Ozone Depletion Potential - ODP1) = 1
High Global Warming Potential - GWP2) = 4000
The use and manufacture of R11 and similar CFC refrigerants is now banned within the European Union even for servicing.
Non flammable, non corrosive non toxic, stable
Commercial plants with centrifugal compressors.
CCl2F2 -29.8 112 Little odor, colorless gas or liquid, non flammable, non corrosive of ordinary metals, stable Small plants with reciprocating compressors. Automotive, Medium Temperature Refrigeration
CHClF2 -40.8 96 R22 is a single hydrochlorofluorocarbon or HCFC compound.
Low chlorine content and ozone depletion potential, ODP = 0.05
Modest global warming potential GWP = 1700.
R22 can still be used in small heat pump systems, but new systems can not be manufactured for use in the EU after 2003. From 2010 only recycled or saved stocks of R22 can be used. It will no longer be manufactured.
Little odor, colorless as gas or liquid, non toxic, non irritating, non flammable, non corrosive, stable
Packaged air-conditioning units where size of equipment and economy are important. Air Conditioning, Low and Medium
Temperature Refrigeration
CH2FCF3 R134a is a single hydrofluorocarbon or HFC compound.
No chlorine content, no ozone depletion potential, ODP = 0
Modest global warming potential GWP = 1300
Automotive replacement for R-12, Stationary A/C,
Medium Temp Refrigeration
R-290 R290 is pure propane, a hydrocarbon and efficient naturally occurring refrigerant with similar properties to R22
No ozone depletion potential, ODP = 0  Extremely low global warming potential GWP = 3
Environmentally safe but highly flammable. Used only after careful consideration to safety.
R-407C R407C is a ternary blend of hydrofluorocarbon or HFC compounds.
23% of R32, 25% of R125 and 52% of R134a.
No chlorine content, no ozone depletion potential, ODP = 0
Global warming potential GWP = 1610
R-410A R410A is a binary blend of hydrofluorocarbon or HFC compounds
50% of R32 and 50% of R125
No chlorine content, no ozone depletion potential. ODP = 0
Global warming potential GWP = 1725
R-417A R417A is the zero ODP replacement for R22
Suitable for new equipment and as a drop-in replacement for existing systems.
R-500 CCl2F2 (73,8%)
CH3 CH F2 (26.2%)
-33 Similar to R12 Offers aprox. 20% more refrigeration capacity than R12 for same compressor.
R-502 CCl F2 (48,8%)
F2-CF3 (51.2%)
-45.6 90.1 Non flammable, non toxic, non corrosive, stable Capacity comparable to R22.

1) ODP - The ODP or Ozone Depletion Potential. The potential for a single molecule of the refrigerant to destroy the Ozone Layer. All refrigerants use R11 as a datum reference where R11 has an ODP = 1.0. The less the value of the ODP - the better the refrigerant is for the ozone layer and the environment.

2) GWP - The GWP, or Global Warming Potential. A measurement (usually measured over a 100-year period) of how much effect a refrigerant will have on Global Warming in relation to Carbon Dioxide. CO2 has a GWP = 1. The lower the value of GWP - the better the refrigerant is for the environment.

Currently there are no restrictions on the use of R134A, R407C, R410A, and R417A.

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