Most of us know and are familiar with the common refrigerant distributors rather it be Hudson, A-Gas, Aspen, Weitron, or whomever else. These names are seen everywhere within the industry and you’re most likely buying from one of them already. That being said, another question that I see quite a bit that isn’t as covered is who are the manufacturers behind these distributors? After all, these distributors have to get their products from somewhere.
What companies are out there and producing refrigerants? Which are the ones that are coming up with new classes of refrigerants or innovating existing refrigerants? A really big market right now, and one that will only be growing over the next few years, is safe and climate friendly alternatives to R-22. With the phase out coming in just a year and half these manufacturers and innovators will be playing a larger and larger role.
Let’s take a look at some of the companies out there manufacturing refrigerants in 2018.
To start this article off I am going to be focusing on the larger refrigerant manufacturers. These are your giant corporations that have a very large percentage of the refrigerant market share. On top of that, these are the companies that you see coming out with new refrigerants or even whole new refrigerant classifications. They have a full research and development department and are always looking for newer and better alternative refrigerants.
- Speaking of gigantic corporations, number one on our list is Honeywell International. This company was founded over one-hundred years ago in Wabash, Indiana. They originally made their start by creating one of the first thermostats all the way back in 1888. Today they have a global workforce of one-hundred and thirty-thousand employees.
- They are one of the largest manufacturers of refrigerant across the globe with factories and plants in the United States as well as other countries. Their brand names are known as Genetron and Solstice. Genetron covers your most common refrigerants such as HFCs 134a, 404A, and 410A. Solstice is the newer classification of refrigerants known as HFOs and includes 1234yf, N40, and N13.
- Honeywell and Chemours combined take up a huge chunk of the market share when it comes to refrigerant sales. In fact, these two behemoth companies have teamed up with each other to further advance their new HFO product lines.
- Chemours is a rather newcomer to the refrigerant market. Well, sort of. Chemours was founded only three years ago and in that short amount of time they have exceeded over six billion dollars in revenue. They are often called the ‘Billion Dollar Start Up.’ How can that be? Well folks, Chemours is an independent off shoot of the DuPont Corporation. I know you’ve all heard of DuPont. They’re just like Honeywell. They’ve been around for over a hundred years.
- Chemours is one of the largest refrigerant manufacturers across the globe with plants in the United States as well as other countries. In fact, the term ‘Freon’ which is used so generically these days comes from the DuPont/Chemours refrigerant brand name. Yes, they own the trademark to Freon. Their other brand is known as Opteon and it paired with Honeywell’s Solstice line make up the new HFO refrigerant classification.
- Arkema is a refrigerant manufacturing company out of Colombes, France. (Just northwest of Paris.) They were founded in 2004 and have been growing ever since. Today, they are in fifty countries and have nineteen-thousand employees. Their total revenue from 2015 was 7.7 billion Euros. While they are not as big as Honeywell or Chemours they provide healthy competition to the two behemoths and help to keep them in check.
- Arkema’s most famous refrigerant brand name is known as Forane. They offer a wide variety of refrigerants including the most popular HFC refrigerants that we use today such as R-134a, R-410A, and R-404A.
- MexiChem is our last ‘big player’ when it comes to refrigerant manufacturing. They were founded back in 1953 in Tlalnepantla, Mexico. They are a versatile chemical company and as of last year their total revenue was nearly 6 billion dollars.
- They are also one of the largest Flurospar mining companies in the world. (Around twenty percent of the Flurospar.) Instead of selling this Flurospar they take it through the entire process and manufacture it right into some of the most common refrigerants used today. (For those who don’t know Flurospar is as key ingredient in refrigerant manufacturing.)
- MexiChem has two brand names that I have found. The first, Arcton, is their branded R-22 product. Their other brand name known as Klea is covers everything else including your most common refrigerants.
- Just as Honeywell and Chemours sometimes partner up we have the same type of relationship with MexiChem and Arkema. In fact, these two companies are directly responsible for overturning the EPA’s HFC phase down rules through the SNAP Rule 20 program. They filed suit stating that the EPA had overstepped it’s limits with the HFC phase down and in August of 2017 MexiChem and Arkema won that lawsuit.
Ok folks, so we now have the big guys out of the way. Let’s take a look at some of the up and comers to the market. While these companies may not be as big we have to realize that sometimes that’s a good thing. When a company is small and hungry you can find unusual processes and innovations.
- Bluon Energy is a relatively new comer to the refrigerant market. Headquartered out of McClelland, California their goal is to create refrigerants that will allow users to increase efficiency and to also have a low carbon footprint.
- Their biggest selling point right now is their refrigerant known as Bluon TDX 20. (R-458A) This refrigerant is designed to be a near drop-in replacement to existing R-22 systems. TDX20 will allow users to prolong their R-22 equipment without having to pay an absorbent cost on recharging with R-22.
- ICOR International was originally known as Indianapolis Refrigeration and in 1995 they incorporated and changed their name to ICOR International. They got their start at around the time the R-12 phase out had begun. When the R-12 phase down began in the early 1990’s all of this was new. It was the first major phase down of a refrigerant and there just weren’t a lot of solutions or alternative options out there. Around this same time ICOR developed their own R-12 refrigerant known as ‘Hot Shot.’ This new refrigerant nearly duplicated the characteristics of R-12. This gave consumers and business owners another option which was needed, especially when being faced with the ever increasing cost of R-12. This ‘Hot Shot’ brand of ICORs can also be used to replace other common refrigerants such as R-134a, 401A, 401B, along with many more.
- History repeated itself when the R-22 phase down began. A lot of you may have already heard of ICOR’s R-22 alternative known as NU-22, or a newer version known as NU-22B. Again, ICOR’s goal here was to establish a solid alternative refrigerant to the HCFC R-22. Like with most R-22 alternatives out there their product offers a near drop-in replacement, larger capacity, and improved efficiency. I would have to say that this brand was a solid success within the marketplace.
- In fact folks, ICOR was so successful that they were bought out by Chemours just last month. So, while Chemours now owns the ICOR name I can assure you that the quality and the products will remain the same.
- Navin Fluorine International, or NFIL, is an Indian based company that can be traced back to 1967. Their initial plant was in Surat, Gujarat (Western India) and since then they have grown and grown. Their brand name, Mafron, has become synonyms with quality refrigerants in eastern part of the world.
Normally, I wouldn’t include this category in my articles but in today’s world I feel that I would be neglectful if I did not. A good portion of the refrigerants that we use in the Untied States and across the world comes from China. If not the straight refrigerant such as R-22 coming then it’s the blends. A lot of the times you’ll see distributors importing in refrigerants needed in say, R-410A, and then they will mix the imported refrigerants at their facility to come up with the R-410A blend. While there is nothing wrong with this technique there are some companies out there who call this type of refrigerant ‘Domestic Product.’ This label gives the impression that the consumers are purchasing American made product, which in fact they are not.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am not as educated on refrigerant Chinese manufacturers as I should be. Buying from China is a gamble if you don’t know which companies to go through. I did my best below to assemble a list of Chinese refrigerant manufacturers but I do not know which ones are reputable and which ones will provide you with shoddy product. If you are looking for a Chinese manufacturer then take the below names with a grain of salt and be sure to do your research before committing to a large purchase order.
- HUAMEI GAS INC – Factory ADD: ZheJiang,China
- Jiangsu Meilan Chemical Co., Ltd.
- Zhejiang Sanmei Chemicals Co., Ltd.
- 3F New Materials Co., Ltd.
- Shandong Yuean Chemical Co., Ltd.
- Ying Peng Chemical Co., Ltd.
- Zheijang Yonghe Refrigerant Co., Ltd.
- Linhai Limin Chemicals Co., Ltd.
- Centralfluor Industries Group, Inc.
- Dongyue Group Ltd.
- Zhejiang Juhua Co., Ltd.
- Zhejiang Wuyi Shenlong Flotation Co., Ltd.
- Jinjiang Jiaxing Home Co.,Ltd.
- Shandong Zoneyoung Chemical Co., Ltd.
- Baoding North Special Gases Co., Ltd.
- Beijing Starget Chemicals Co., Ltd.
- Zhejiang MR Refrigerant Co., Ltd
Well folks, that covers it for my list of refrigerant manufacturers. Now I know I must have missed some companies here. In fact, I’m sure of. If you know of a company that was not included on this listing please do not hesitate to reach out to me by clicking here. I will be updating this list based on your feedback.