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Refrigerants Revealed: What You Need to Know about Refrigerants Today

 Earth day 3

Introduction to Refrigerants

The topic of refrigerants has skyrocketed in recent years. A simple mention of the word brings a deluge of ideas about safety, effectiveness, and environmental impact. But how do you cut through the clutter and determine what is most important when it comes to refrigerants? Good question. This article will explore a brief history of refrigerants, why they’re important, and what it means for your equipment and environment today. Let’s dive in.   

A Brief History of Refrigerants 

Refrigerants are a major player in commercial cold storage. Refrigerants are the cooling substances used in cold storage equipment that cycle between liquid and gas phases to cool a chamber. Refrigerants have gained significant attention in recent years because of their often-hazardous impact on the environment. To understand why these substances are so crucial, let’s explore a brief history of how they began and evolved.

CFC Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)

Chlorofluorocarbons were among the first chemical substances used as refrigerants in the early 1900s. Their use gained momentum and spread widely into the mid to late 1900s. However, developed countries stopped producing CFCs in 1995 because of their vast depletion of the ozone layer and the elevated risk for global warming.

HCFC hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)

HCFCs entered the scene as a replacement refrigerant for CFCs. This refrigerant has an ozone depleting potential just a fraction of CFC refrigerants. However, this compound still poses risks, and many HCFCs were banned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as of 2020. 

HFC Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

Another CFC substitute, HFCs have an ozone depletion of zero, but are still classified as a greenhouse gas and regarded as hazardous to the atmosphere. Concerns and debates still surround HFCs. 

Hydrocarbons (HCs) and Natural Refrigerants

Natural refrigerants such as hydrocarbons (HCs) occur naturally in the world. These are claimed to be some of the safest refrigerants for the environment while also delivering the most cost-effective cooling. Hydrocarbons are an ideal next-generation choice.

What do Refrigerants Look Like Today?

Since HCFC refrigerants contribute to ozone depletion and global warming, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has already initiated the process of phasing out HCFC refrigerants entirely. The end goal is to have all HCFCs banned worldwide by 2030. In response, many suppliers have started the process of replacing HCFC refrigerants with cleaner, hydrocarbon (HC) substitutes. Not only is this natural alternative more sustainable for the environment, but its efficient properties could save businesses money as well. HC refrigerants can reduce energy consumption by a remarkable 15%.

In addition to their energy efficiency, hydrocarbon refrigerants have no ozone depletion potential and an extremely low global warming impact. Hydrocarbons were also discovered to cause less stress to operating systems by reducing heat and noise output. This efficiency enables faster temperature recovery and extends the lifespan of compressors. Wins all around for this new, natural alternative.

Conclusion: How do Refrigerants Impact You?

How should you respond to the issue of refrigerants and the regulations surrounding them? Simply this—if your clinical setting or laboratory uses cold storage, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate the equipment you use. Equipment with old refrigerants will be banned in coming years anyways, so consider upgrading now and saving on energy costs in the process. Take an honest look at the equipment you use and consider an upgrade that could invest in your establishment, your environment, and the future of your planet for generations to come.  


American Biotech Supply 

Our ABS line proudly integrates hydrocarbon (HC) refrigerants for ultimate environmental protection and untouched efficiency. Explore today. ABS | American Biotech Supply

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