Phase-out of ozone-depleting substances and fluorinated greenhouse gases in the Russian Federation
  • Arctic Council
  • Nefco
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation

Pros and cons of using eco-friendly refrigerants in refrigeration plants

Alternative refrigerants are safe to the ozone layer and climate. At the same time, each of them is more or less acceptable for certain areas due to their properties. Here are the major properties of alternative refrigerants. “+” stands for “Yeas” and “-” for “No”. So, if you see “+” in Toxicity column, then the refrigerant is non-toxic.

RefrigerantAvailability*Toxicity FlammabilityCan be used for retrofitSpecific features of plants
Propane (R290) + + + Limited charge, fire safety measures to be taken
Isobutane (R600a) + + —** Limited charge, fire safety measures to be taken
Ammonia (R717) + + + —** Plant components cannot contain copper, zinc, cadmium, mercury and rubber. Fire and toxicity safety measures to be taken.
Carbon dioxide (R744) + Plant components should withstand high working pressures
HFO + + Fire safety measures to be taken
Water + Limited use: temperatures over 0 °C are controlled and maintained. Plant components should be made of corrosion-resistant materials
Air + Fundamentally different design (as compared to vapor compression refrigeration plants). Limited use: air-conditioners of airplanes, extra low-temperature plants.
* — complex parameter taking into account price, amount available on the market, possible production.
** — retrofit is possible in theory, but requires deep conversion and/or leads to loss of performance, so in practice the refrigerant is used in a specially designed plants.

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