Environmentally Sustainable Refrigerants for Chillers
For decades, chillers have depended on refrigerants to facilitate effective cooling in diverse applications such as injection molding, tool and die cutting, food and beverage production, chemicals, lasers, semiconductors, and more.
The popularity of refrigerants widely used in the past—chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), and hydrofluorocarbons (HCFC)—has decreased as the chiller industry converts to more environmentally sustainable refrigerants. In the past, the most commonly used refrigerants included:
- R-11, a CFC refrigerant used in low-pressure centrifugal chillers
- R-12, a CFC used in general chiller equipment
- R-22, an HCFC refrigerant used in direct expansion (DX) water chillers
Global regulations addressing ozone depletion and other concerns are driving chiller original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to convert to new, more environmentally acceptable refrigerants for use in a wide range of chillers. These include process chillers such as:
- Centrifugal compressor chillers
- Screw compressor chillers
- Scroll compressor chillers
- Air, evaporation, and water cooled chillers
Low Global Warming Potential Refrigerant Options for Chillers
Chemours continues to develop innovative refrigerants for all applications. This includes zero ozone depletion hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants for chillers. Chiller OEMs have designed new equipment lines that utilize these refrigerants, which include:
Freon™ 134a refrigerant is a retrofit for R-12 for use in chiller systems, and can be also be used in new equipment. Freon™ 134a has similar thermodynamic properties to R-12, but with insignificant ozone depletion potential and a somewhat lower global warming potential (GWP).
Freon™ 123 refrigerant is an R-11 retrofit used in low-pressure centrifugal chillers. Retrofitted centrifugal chillers often require system modifications to increase capacity or to avoid material incompatibility.
Long-Term Use Considerations
Regulations on the long-term use of refrigerants vary by region and application, and may change over time. For the latest information, please visit the Regulations page.
Low GWP Alternatives:
Chemours has developed a new generation of low global warming potential (GWP), hydrofluoroolefin- (HFO) based refrigerants. See Opteon™ refrigerants for chillers, which include Opteon™ XP10 (R-513A), Opteon™ XP30 (R-514A) and Opteon™ XP40 (R-449A).