The positive effects of using natural refrigerants

Looking after the world we live in is crucial. And, in the refrigeration industry, a few relatively simple steps can make a positive difference to the environment – and your business! With the F Gas Regulations coming into effect from January 1st 2020, it is also important to note how natural refrigerants will make your refrigerator safe and to secure its long term future.

By replacing the go-to refrigerants of the past, like R-22 and R-401A, with natural refrigerants, we can help to protect the world we live in for future generations, as well as keeping our own businesses running for longer.

What are natural refrigerants?

Before explaining their benefits, it is important to distinguish exactly what natural refrigerants are. These refrigerants are made up of gases that exist naturally in the earth’s atmosphere – such as Carbon Dioxide, Propane and Ammonia. Due to their being little choice, natural refrigerants were used before the 1950’s, but this changed when synthetic refrigerants were introduced, reducing their cost. However, in the 1970’s their safety was disputed as there were concerns about the deteriorating condition of the Earth’s ozone layer, with them being subsequently banned as a result as they were seen as a big influence on this depletion.

Making your refrigerator safe for practice

If you choose to go with a natural refrigerant for your multi temperature storage room or refrigerated display cabinet then this will mean your refrigerator is comfortably eligible to use after the 2020 F Gas Regulations come into effect. This bans the use of refrigerants with a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of over 2,500, and with CO2 having a GWP (Global Warming Potential) rating of just 1, you won’t have to worry about falling foul of the upcoming regulations. With this in mind, natural refrigerants are described as “future-proof”.

The fact that these refrigerants are made up of gases that exist naturally in the environment means that they produce very little wasted gases, with zero ozone depletion potential and having no effect on the Earth’s ozone layer.

What is the best natural refrigerant to use?

As mentioned above, the main natural refrigerants that are used commercially are carbon dioxide, ammonia, isobutane and propane. The most popular options of natural refrigerant being Carbon Dioxide and Ammonia, which have the following benefits:

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) – this is arguably the refrigerant that is most commonly used with commercial refrigerators. It is available on the market in abundance, meaning that it will not be hard to source your refrigerant if you are running low.
  • Ammonia (NH3) – similarly to CO2, ammonia doesn’t have any harmful effect on the ozone layer, and its GWP value is even lower than carbon dioxide, being 0. It is also widely available on the market at a very low price, making it one of the most popular natural refrigerants available alongside CO2. Ammonia is becoming popular in commercial refrigeration as its lack of damage to the environment is being realised.

Natural refrigerants vs synthetic refrigerants

The once reliable, stable and safe option of synthetic refrigerants appear to be a thing of the past. Natural refrigerants are now rising in popularity again due to the push to reduce the wasted energy levels that are causing real damage to the world. With the introduction of the GWP limit on refrigerants from 2020, it is important to find out what natural refrigerants are applicable with your commercial refrigerator.

This is where us here at Ryan-Jayberg can help:

If you would like any further information on which natural refrigerants are best for your business or how the F Gas Regulations of 2020 could affect you, then please do get in touch. We will be more than happy to discuss any request you may have to convert to existing systems and answer any questions you have about this. Please use our contact us page to find the telephone number of the branch that is closest to you, or fill out our online enquiry form with your message and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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