r-404a 25 pound cylinder

How Long will R-410A Refrigerant be Around?

R-410A was introduced way back in the early 1990s by Carrier corporation. But, it never really took off as an alternative Refrigerant until 2010. Why is that? Well, R-410A is the go to replacement product for R-22 Refrigerant.

R-22 was the standard refrigerant that was found in all home air conditioning units. If you had an AC unit it took R-22 that was all there was to it. The problem with R-22 is that it fell into the class of refrigerants known as CFCs. The CFC refrigerants are known to cause damage to the O-Zone layer which in turns modifies Earth’s environment… which is never good.

There was a treaty signed called the ‘Montreal Protocol,’ in the 20th century. One of this treaty’s goals was to eventually phase out of all of the O-Zone depleting CFC chemicals, refrigerants included. In 1994 R-12 Refrigerant was discontinued and replaced with the HFC R-134A.

The same thing happened with R-22 in 2010. In 2010 it was mandated by federal law that all new air conditioning machines would take R-410A Refrigerant instead of R-22. In 2015 the production of R-22 is going to be cut in half and in 2020 R-22 will be banned in the United States.

What’s Next for R-410A?

R-410A Refrigerant 25 Lb Cylinder
R-410A Refrigerant 25 Lb Cylinder

With all of the information I detailed above the future sounds great for R-410A. It is the primary refrigerant for all residential and commercial units now and all of the older R-22 units will eventually disappear as time wears on.

With that being said I am concerned about the R-410A’s future. Why you ask? Well, in September of 2014 the United States Federal Government announced that they are working on voluntary measures to phase out R-134A Refrigerant across the country.  The government is pushing this not because of O-Zone depletion, which R-134A does not contribute, but because HFCs contribute to Global Warming.  The measures are voluntarily at this stage, but they have set their sights on R-134A. I bring this up because R-134A is an HFC refrigerant. R-410A is also an HFC refrigerant.

At this point in time if nothing else changes I give R-134A another ten years of mainstream use before it is forced out by government regulation or mandates.  So, it begs the question if R-410A’s close relative is going to be phased out what will happen to R-410A? It’s hard to say but I wouldn’t be surprised in the slighted that the next target is R-410A after they are done with R-134A. After all, it’s the same cycle all over again. In the 1990’s they went after the automotive refrigerant first then twenty years later they went after the residential/commercial refrigerant next. Looks like history is repeating itself…

 

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

Owner.

What is the Future of R-134A?

The future of R-134A is anything but certain. There have been a lot of changes towards R-134A in 2014 and there are many more to come in 2015.

Mexi-Chem and Their Law-Suit

Mexi-Chem & R-134A
Mexi-Chem & R-134A

Towards the end of 2013 a refrigerant manufacturing company called Mexi-Chem filed a law-suit under the International Trade Commission.  The suit was filed due to the amount of Chinese R-134A coming into the North America market and due to the low price point that this product was coming in.

It seemed that the quantity that was being imported was doubling every year and the price that it was being brought in was around $40-$50 a jug. This provided a huge margin for the companies that were bringing in the Chinese product but it also caused the market’s price on R-134A to drop. The big players in North America had to compete against the Chinese product so they dropped their price and it overall led to a better price to the consumer.

The lawsuit that Mexi-Chem filed at the ITC was alleging that the Chinese product being brought in was harming the North American industry. Mexi-Chem wanted the ITC to impose significant tariffs on all imported R-134A. The tariffs would allow Mexi-Chem and other American based companies to be competitive with the low cost Chinese alternative.

The suit was originally filed at the tail end of 2013 and there was a ruling made on November 12th, 2014.  The ruling stated that the imported product is NOT hurting the North American industry and that new tariffs would not be issued. Mexi-Chem has said that they will appeal the ruling in hopes of getting the tariff issued at a later date.

When the news of the law suit first came out it sent the price of R-134A through the roof. My company was buying in between the $60s and $70s towards the beginning of 2014. When the news became more main-stream the price practically doubled to $140 a jug.

Since the ruling came out just a few days ago the price has already dropped back down to early 2014 levels. I have already seen quotes on pallets of R-134A at $70.00 a jug. The Chinese product is back and stronger than ever! I don’t know about you but I am in favor of the cheaper Chinese product coming in to the country. It gives the consumer an ultimately lower cost. If a few of the big conglomerates such as HoneyWell or DuPont have to make a little less per jug so be it.

Obama Pushing Phase-Out of R-134A

Obama pushing for phase-out of R-134A Refrigerant.
Obama pushing for phase-out of R-134A Refrigerant.

I talked about this in a previous article but I believe it needs another mention. (The previous article can be found by clicking here.) 

It was announced in September that the Obama administration would be pushing a ‘voluntary’ phase out of R-134A across the country. This latest phase-out is due to R-134A’s contribution to global warming. R-134A’s predecessor R-12 was damaging the O-Zone layer whenever it was released into the atmosphere.

R-134A does not damage the O-Zone BUT it does contribute to green-house gases and does warm the planet. The phase-out on R-134A is voluntary at this point in time mainly due to the fact that ere is not a main-stream replacement product for R-134A.

The major manufacturers of refrigerant/Refrigerant in the United States have all agreed to rapidly produce an R-134A replacement product and to take extra steps to reduce R-134A leaks into the environment.

As I said before, all of this is voluntary but I would give this another year, maybe two, and these new regulations that were announced will become mandatory just as the R-22 Refrigerant was banned entirely in 2010.

I don’t see this affecting the price of R-134A too much in 2015 but it is worth noting and to keep an eye open for any new government regulations on the Refrigerant industry.

Who knows will R-134A will be in a couple years. It may still be the industry standard or it may be on it’s way out. Either way 2014 was a crazy year for the Refrigerant industry.

Purchasing R-134A

Are you interested in purchasing R-134A either by the jug or the pallet? If so check out the few links below!

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

Owner.

 

 

 

Tariffs on Chinese Imported R134A Refrigerant

There was a decision today made on MexiChem’s case of anti-dumping on R-134A Refrigerant by the International Trade Commission. The gist of MexiChem’s case is that the Chinese Refrigerant is being imported in such quantity and at such a low price that it prevents American companies from competing. They filed a lawsuit to the ITC hoping that tariffs would be forced against the Chinese product which would in turn raise the cost of the imports to be on the same level as the American made product.

Well, it didn’t go so well for MexiChem’s today! (I’m happy about this as it keeps cost low for everyone.)  Click here for an article from Air Conditioning News.  The summary of this article is below:

R-134a from China Do Not Harm US Industry

TLALNEPANTLA, Mexico — Mexichem, a global specialty chemicals company that produces refrigerant gases, announced that the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled that imports of R-134a refrigerant from China do not harm United States industry.

This ruling, however, runs counter to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Oct. 15, 2014 proposed final resolution regarding antidumping duties and countervailing duties on Chinese refrigerant gases imported into the United States. This proposed resolution stated that imports from China of R-134a refrigerant, also known as HFC-134a or 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane, should be subject to antidumping duties of 280.67 percent and countervailing duties averaging 11.14 percent.

The full text of the U.S. ITC ruling is available at www.usitc.gov.

Based on currently available information, Mexichem said that it is considering appealing the ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Publication date: 11/10/2014

The actual International Trade Comission’s ruling can be seen by clicking this link as well.

The article is below as well:

November 12, 2014
News Release 14-114
Inv. Nos. 701-TA-509 and 731-TA-1244 (Final)
Contact: Peg O’Laughlin, 202-205-1819

 

1,1,1,2-TETRAFLUORETHANE (“R-134a”) FROM CHINA DOES NOT INJURE U.S. INDUSTRY, SAYS USITC

 

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that a U.S. industry is not materially injured or threatened with material injury by reason of imports of 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluorethane (“R-134a”) from China that the U.S. Department of Commerce has determined are subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.

Chairman Meredith M. Broadbent, Vice Chairman Dean A. Pinkert, and Commissioners David S. Johanson and F. Scott Kieff voted in the negative. Commissioners Irving A. Williamson and Rhonda K. Schmidtlein voted in the affirmative.

As a result of the USITC’s negative determinations, no antidumping or countervailing duty orders will be issued on imports of this product from China.

The Commission’s public report 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluorethane (“R-134a”) from China (Investigation Nos. 701-TA-509 and 731-TA-1244 (Final), USITC Publication 4503, November 2014) will contain the views of the Commissioners and information developed during the investigations.

The report will be available after December 15, 2014. After that date, it may be accessed on the USITC website at: http://pubapps.usitc.gov/applications/publogs/qry_publication_loglist.asp.


UNITED STATES INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION
Office of Industries
Washington, DC 20436FACTUAL HIGHLIGHTS
1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane from China
Investigation Nos. 701-TA-509 and 731-TA-1244 (Final)

 

Product Description: 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane (HFC-134a or R-134a) is a clear, colorless liquid or gas, which is gaseous at normal atmospheric conditions. The chemical formula for R-134a is CF3-CH2F, and the Chemical Abstracts Service (“CAS”) registry number is CAS 811- 97-2. R-134a is mainly used as a refrigerant for air conditioning (“A/C”) systems. It is the primary refrigerant in mobile (e.g., automobile) A/C systems and can be blended with other chemicals for use in stationary refrigeration systems. R-134a is also used as a propellant in pharmaceutical, household cleaning, and foam expansion products.

Status of Proceedings:

1. Type of investigations: Final antidumping and countervailing duty.
2. Petitioner:  Mexichem Fluor, Inc., St. Gabriel, LA. 
3. Investigations instituted by USITC:  October 22, 2013.
4. USITC hearing:  October 15, 2014.
5. USITC vote:  November 12, 2014.
6. USITC notification of Department of Commerce:  November 24, 2014.

U.S. Industry:

1. Number of U.S. producers in 2013:  3.
2. Location of producers' plants:  Delaware, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania. 
3. Employment of production and related workers in 2013: (1)
4. U.S. producers' U.S. shipments in 2013: (1)
5. Apparent U.S. consumption in 2013: (1) 
6. Ratio of subject imports to apparent U.S. consumption in 2013: (1)

U.S. Imports in 2013:

1. From the subject country during 2013: (1)
2. From other countries during 2013: (1)
3. Leading source during 2013:  China (in terms of total value).

(1) Withheld to avoid disclosure of business proprietary information.

Predictions on Refrigerant Pricing for 2015

Check Out My Latest Predictions from May 2015

With November upon us 2014 is coming to a close, we’ll be in 2015 in just a few short weeks. So, the question is what will Refrigerant pricing do in 2015? What price is going to sky rocket, take a dive, or remain flat? Well, truth be told, it’s hard to predict because you never know if we’re going to have a crazy hot summer or if there are new EPA regulations that come out of nowhere. The below article is my PREDICTION on what pricing will be, but I warn you to take it with a grain of salt.

R-22 Refrigerant

R-22 Refrigerant 30 pound jug.
R-22 Refrigerant 30 pound jug.

R-22 is the one to watch in 2015. It is already on it’s way out due to Environmental Protection Agency restrictions that firs took effect in 2010. But, the next phase of the phaseout begins in 2015. To understand the phaseout you really need to know what happened in 2010. The main gist of it is that no new manufactured machines from 2010 and on can take R-22 Refrigerant. All new machines need to take the replacement for R-22 which is R-410A.

2015 is the next step in the phaseout, the goal for 2015 is to cut production and imports of R-22 Refrigerant into the United States by half. So, the supply of this particular type of Refrigerant is going to be cut in half next year.  Now, you can imagine what this will do to the market. Today, R-22 is averaging about $275-$350 for a thirty pound cylinder. Next year I would predict that this would go up to around $500 a cylinder, perhaps even higher. If I had the capital on hand today I would at-least buy a pallet of R-22 and sit on it for about six months and watch the price creep up. If you buy today for $300 and sell for $600 next summer you stand to make $300 a jug times a forty jug pallet equals out to $12,000 in net profit.

R-410A

R-410A Refrigerant 25 Lb Cylinder
R-410A Refrigerant 25 Lb Cylinder

R-410A is a different story compared to R-22. R-410A, or Puron, is still fairly new to the market and thus the price has remained relatively stable. R-410A has been hovering around $85-$110 per individual jug and about $60-$70 per pallet. I have more experience on R-410A as I sold about $40,000 of it in 2013. Since it is not widely used pricing really doesn’t seem to change and for the most part it is at the same level as it was in 2013. For 2015 I predict right about the same price range give or take $5.00 or so.

R-134A

R-134A 30 pound cylinder jug.
R-134A 30 pound cylinder jug.

R-134A is a tricky one this year and next. In 2014 the United States Government went after importers of R-134A Refrigerant. The main reason that I can understand is that there was a concern that the R-134A imported refrigerant was not up to par/EPA standards on HFC Refrigerant. So, the EPA/Government issued a large tariff on all R-134A imported into the United States.  This caused the prices of R-134A to surge in the beginning of 2014. At one point I was buying at $65.00 a thirty pound cylinder and within a week we were at $130.00 a cylinder and I was buying directly from DuPont.  Over the next few months the fever on R-134A seemed to die down a bit and pricing started to recede. It is still nothing like what it was earlier this year, today I’m buying at around $100-$115 a cylinder and that’s considered a good deal. 2015 is extremely difficult to predict on R-134A as it’s tough to figure out what the new government policy will be. In October the Obama administration ‘Voluntary’ restrictions on R-134A. This is the only the beginning for R-134A so I can only say that the price will be going up but to what it is anyone’s guess.

R-404A

R-404A 24 pound jug cylinder
R-404A 24 pound jug cylinder

R-404A is a pretty quiet Refrigerant at this time. I have been watching this over the past year and really haven’t see much change occur. Today, you can buy it individually for about $90.00 a jug and I really haven’t seen it go much up or down from this price.  In 2015 I don’t see much changing and predict it to be right around the $90-$100 price.

 

As always thanks for reading and visiting our site,

Alec Johnson

25 years Montreal Protocol

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced its final phase down schedule regarding production and importation of HCFC-22 refrigerant. It calls for an immediate drop come this Jan. 1 from 51 million pounds allowed in 2014 to 22 million pounds in 2015. After that, 18 million pounds of new and imported R-22 will be allowed in 2016, 13 million pounds in 2017, nine million pounds in 2018, and four million pounds in 2019. No new or imported R-22 will be allowed as of Jan. 1, 2020.

In the announcement made Oct. 17, 2014, the EPA ended up using what it described as a “more aggressive linear reduction.” Other options would have allowed between 30 and 36 million pounds in 2015, much higher than the 22 million pounds now being allowed.

Article can be found here:

http://www.achrnews.com/articles/127889-oct-20-2014-epa-steps-up-phaseout-of-r-22-refrigerant

First and foremost, I’m going to try and keep Politics out of this. It doesn’t matter how I feel about this administration. The changes coming are going to affect the Refrigerant industry significantly.

Today it was announced by the Obama administration that they are going to be pushing for the phase-out of R-134A Refrigerant. R-134A is THE Refrigerant that is used in all automotive applications as of 1994. Prior to 1994 it was R-12 Refrigerant but that was banned in accordance to International law and was replaced with R-134A. Now it looks like R-134A is on it’s way to be banned.

From what I’ve read about the press statement is that there is nothing mandatory yet on R-134A phaseout. Everything is voluntary. That being said many major chemical companies have agreed to reduce production of R-134A and other major companies that use R-134A Refrigerant have said that they will be using an alternative Refrigerant.

As I said above, nothing is changing today… but since this statement came out I can almost guarantee that R-134A pricing is going up, and going up fast. I will have to give props to the Obama administration to announcing this as the summer season comes to an end. This lets the changes sink over the winter and hopefully a lot of the hype as well. If this was announced in May I could have seen R-134A prices go over $200.00 a jug. Hopefully, price doesn’t spike too bad and if it does it will be short lived.

For more on this announcement check out this Washington Post article:

 

Thanks for reading all,

Alec Johnson

It’s getting to be that time of year. Here in Kansas City we had our last hot day at ninety-five degrees. Tomorrow’s high is in the seventies and the rest of the week will be in the sixties or seventies. I’d say we are out of the heat of the summer and moving into fall. While this means cooler temperatures it also means Refrigerant price will slowly begin to fall over the next few months.

There really wasn’t much of a spike those is year on Refrigerant pricing so I don’t expect it to crash too much this winter but you should see a noticeable drop in price compared to today. If you are looking to buy and it’s not an emergency I would hold off for a month or two and watch the prices start to go down.

Also, no one knows what next years season will do. It could be an extremely flat year and prices will remain the same, or it could be a crazy year and prices will go up three-hundred percent. It depends on so many factors that your guess is as good as mine.

Since I am in the business of selling Refrigerant I’m wishing everyone a hot HOT 2015 summer!

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantShopper.com now has the option available for bulk purchasing of your Refrigerant. Are you looking for a pallet of Refrigerant, a few pallets, or even a trailer-load? Well we can help you out! Just visit our Bulk Purchasing page by click here.

All you have to do is fill out a form with what you are looking for. That form is then e-mailed to us and we will review and contact our various suppliers to find the best price for you. Keep in mind that your actual order will be placed with one of our suppliers, RefrigerantShopper.com does not actually process your order. We just find you the best deal!

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

I don’t know about you, but here in Kansas City we have had a VERY mild summer compared to past years. So far this summer we have STILL yet to reach a one-hundred degree day. If one hundred degrees seems crazy let me remind you that the typical months of July and August in Kansas City have 20-25 one-hundred degree days.

Not only do we have the nice lower temperatures but we also have the lower electric bills due to our air conditioners not working near as hard. Typically, Refrigerant price spikes in summer, sometimes upwards one-hundred percent or more.

A few years ago I was buying wholesale R-134A Refrigerant for around $60.00 a jug in mid-March. Fast forward a few months and add in an extremely hot summer and R-134A prices sky-rocketed to over $200 a jug. If you saw the increase coming (Don’t know how you would.) you could have bought up at the $60.00 a price and made a killing selling $200 a jug to anyone and everyone who needed a jug.

On the other side of the coin though in early 2014 I was buying wholesale jugs of R-134A Refrigerant for low $70.00. In the first quarter of 2014 it was announced that the Federal Government was looking at adding tariffs to all imported R-134A Refrigerant. These weren’t insignificant tariffs either, some discussions were $40-$50 a jug. This caused a lot of panic in the industry and R-134A went from $70.00 up to $145 in just a few weeks. It has since calmed down some, but we are still looking at around $115 wholesale price. I predict by the end of the sumer and or fall that it will taper off to around $100 wholesale price and around $120-$130 retail to the end user.

R-134A is really the only Refrigerant that I know of that spikes and crashes like that. I’ve been watching the R-410A market for a few years now and it really stays pretty consistent. Wholesale price stays right around $60-$75 per jug. Most end users are paying around $100-$120 per jug. I really haven’t seen this price change too much, so I wouldn’t really worry about watching the market too closely on R-410A.

Keep in mind though that the hotter the summer the higher the Refrigerant price goes. It really just boils down to supply and demand, if the demand for Refrigerant is high you’re going to pay like crazy to get your house or car cool again.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

R-12 Refrigerant is the original Refrigerant. At one point in time it was used for everything including home air conditioning units, automobiles, and refrigerators. It was invented by a partnership of DuPont and General Motors back in the 1920s and was being used as the primary type of Refrigerant for home units until the 1950s. In the 1950s the newer R-22 Refrigerant took over the home and refrigerator market. R-22 was easier on the compressors and didn’t’ require as big of pipes to flow through.

Even though R-12 lost the home market it was still THE Refrigerant to use in automobiles. In 1994 the Environmental Protection Agency mandated that all new vehicles use R-134A Refrigerant rather than the R-12 Refrigerant that was used for over seventy years. The EPA mandated this change due to the Chlorine found in the R-12 Refrigerant. Chlorine damages the O-Zone layer and due to the amount of the vehicles on the road there was significant damage being done to the O-Zone layer. The R-134A Refrigerant does not harm the O-Zone layer. (Although it does produce greenhouse gases which contribute to Global Warming.)

R-12 has been phased out for twenty years now. (1994-2014.) If you have a vehicle older than 1994 you have two choices. You can either retrofit your car so that it will be compatible with R-134A Refrigerant, or you can try to purchase some R-12 Refrigerant from a supplier or online. If you choose the latter be prepared to pay a hefty price. I’ve seen R-12 Refrigerant go from $500.00 a cylinder all the way up to $1,100.00 a cylinder. If it was me I would go the retrofitting route rather than purchasing. This allows you to use the common and less expensive R-134A Refrigerant and it also keeps you in compliance with EPA regulations. R-12 is strictly regulated by the government and if you were to accidentally vent some of the R-12 Refrigerant into the atmosphere you could face very hefty fines.

All in all R-12 is the dinosaur of Refrigerant. It’s going to be completely extinct here in the next ten to twenty years. But, it did serve a purpose as it was the first Refrigerant and provided cooling for the world for nearly a century. If you have any questions on Refrigerant please contact me.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

Up until recently R-22 Refrigerant was the most common type of refrigerant for home and commercial air-conditioning units. Do you have an air-conditioning unit made before 2010? If so, it takes R-22.

Its popularity took off in the 1950s when it replaced R-12 Refrigerant for home and commercial use. As of January 1st, 2010 no new R-22 air-conditioners can be manufactured in the United States and other developed countries. In 2015 production of R-22 must be cut in half due to EPA regulation. Lastly, in 2020 the production of R-22 will be illegal in all major countries across the world. R-22 is being replaced with R-410A , or Puron. R-410A was invented in the early 1990s but really didn’t begin to gain popularity until the 2000s and it is the Refrigerant of the future. All new units from 2010 and on will be taking R-410A.

If you desire to purchase R-22 Refrigerant you must be certified to be handle refrigerants with the Environmental Protection Agency. If you do not have the certification you cannot legally purchase R-22 or R-12 Refrigerant. R-410A and R-134A you can purchase without any licensing. The sales restriction on R-22 is put in place to prevent laymen from releasing damaged Chlorine from R-22 into the atmosphere. Chlorine damages the O-Zone layer which is the main reason R-22 is being phased out.

R-22’s price is only expected to climb over the next few years. Today, August 2014, the price on a thirty pound cylinder of R-22 ranges from $300-$350. This is quite the difference compared to the R-410A price of $100-$130. Expect a big increase in price in 2015 when production of R-22 will be cut in half. I would expect it to spike to $500-$600 a jug next summer. In another five years when production of R-22 is banned I could definitely see the price per jug going over $1,000. (R-12 is typically over $1,000 per cylinder since it’s phase out.)

Thanks for reading,
Alec Johnson

If you are interested in purchasing Refrigerant please visit our product page.

In case you haven’t heard R-22 Refrigerant is slowly being phased out by the Environmental Protection Agency in compliance with the Montreal Protocol. This is a big deal. R-22 Refrigerant has been the standard Refrigerant for all home/commercial HVAC units, refrigerators, and grocery store freezers since the 1950s. R-22’s replacement R-410A is the Refrigerant of the future rather you like it or not!

Now the reason for the phaseout is valid. (It’s being phased out due to the Chlorine found in R-22. Chlorine damages the O-Zone layer.) That being said, this is going to cause a major headache to many consumers. If you own a unit that was manufactured before 2010 chances are that it takes R-22 Refrigerant. Any machines made on or after 2010 are required to take the R-22 replacement R-410A. Because of this restriction in 2010 if you have a Refrigerant leak on your old unit you are going to end up paying an arm and a leg to either 1) replace your R-22 Refrigerant which is now up to over $300.00 a cylinder. Or, 2) you retrofit your old HVAC unit so that it can take the new R-22 replacement R-410A. Whichever choice you decide to go with you are going to be out a lot of money.

If you do run into an issue where your old R-22 unit is leaking I would recommend either retrofitting the unit to R-410A or buying a whole new R-410A unit. I am suggesting the new unit as the price on R-22 is only going to get worse. In 2010 machines can no longer be R-22 machines can no longer be manufactured. In 2015 the production of R-22 will have to be cut in half by EPA regulation. Finally, in 2020 the production of R-22 Refrigerant will be banned in all countries that have signed the Montreal Protocol. This includes United States, Canada, Australia, and all major European powers.

Now, for a little history lesson. This isn’t the first time that a mass phaseout of refrigerants has occurred. Before the 1950’s R-12 Refrigerant was the refrigerant used for EVERYTHING, and I mean everything. It didn’t matter what application, you used R-12. R-22 Refrigerant was invented back in the 1930s but it didn’t really begin to get popular until after World War 2. It’s first use for home/commercial air conditioning was in the late 1950s. R-12 Refrigerant was phased out for home/commercial use and replaced with R-22. (Sound Familiar?) R-22 was used instead because it permitted the use of smaller compressors and smaller piping.

Just as it took a while for R-22 Refrigerant to become the standard it is going to be a long process before R-22 is completely removed from the market. But, as time goes on the price of R-22 is only going to increase. I predict a huge spike in price in 2015 and again in 2020. Don’t be surprised if you start seeing R-22 Refrigerant close to a $1,000 a jug over the next few years. Don’t believe me? Check out the price of an unused cylinder of R-12 Refrigerant nowadays. I’ve seen some go for over $1,000!

In conclusion, this shouldn’t affect you, the homeowner, unless you have an R-22 unit with a Refrigerant leak. Otherwise, this change will mostly go un-noticed, very similar to the change from R-12 to R-134A Refrigerant that took place in 1994. If you do end up needing R-22 Refrigerant in the future I would reccomend buying NOW before the price gets any higher.

Thanks for reading,
Alec Johnson

 

 

 

25 years Montreal Protocol

The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty that went into effect in January 1st, 1989. The main goal of the protocol is to slow down and to eventually stop the damage to the O-Zone layer that various chemicals were causing. It has been revised numbers times over the years to accommodate for new technologies and products. As a direct result of the treaty the hole in the O-Zone layer has been shrinking and experts believe that we will be at 1980 levels between the year 2050-2070.

The treaty is centered around any chemicals that contain either Chlorine or Bromine. For each group of chemicals the treaty designated a time table on which production of those products must be phased out and eventually eliminated from the market. This treaty is why the most common refrigerants for cars, R-12 Refrigerant, was discontinued in the early 1990s and was replaced with R-134A. R-12 contained Chlorine whereas the R-134A did not thus was not harmful to the O-Zone. R-134A is a greenhouse gas and does contribute to Global Warming so this Refrigerant may end up going away in the future as well.

In more recent news this treaty is responsible for the discontinuation of R-22. R-22 is the Refrigerant that most home and commercial air conditioning units use. R-22 is being replaced with R-410A. R-410A is similar to R-134A and does not contain Chlorine. It is however a greenhouse gas and contributes to Global Warming. In the 2010 all new air conditioning machines have to use R-410A instead of R-22. In 2020 the production of R-22 Refrigerant will be banned in all countries who have signed the Montreal Protocol.

This protocol is a double edged sword, as it did repair the O-Zone layer but it also caused the cost of Refrigerants to go through the roof. If you were to try and buy a cylinder of R-12 Refrigerant today you would end up paying over $1,000 for a 30 pound cylinder. R-22 Refrigerant is following the same path. In a few more years I could easily see R-22 Refrigerant going for $600-$800 per jug.

For now there are no future regulations or restrictions on HFCs including R-410A and R-134A. I would expect in the five to ten years new regulations will come out against these refrigerants as well. The O-Zone is repairing but now we have to worry about the Global Warming potential of these new HFC chemicals. But, hopefully by then companies have developed a new, cleaner, and more efficient refrigerant that the world can use.

The link to the Wikpedia article on The Montreal Protocol can be found here.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

If you are interested in purchasing Refrigerant please visit our Product Page by clicking here!

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There are many types of Refrigerant available and it can be rather confusing as to what type of Refrigerant your home HVAC or your vehicle takes. There are four major kinds of refrigerant today. You have your R-410A and your R-22 for your home/commercial units. You also have your R-134A and your R-12 refrigerants for your vehicles.

Below is a quick guide on how to identify what type of refrigerant you need:

Vehicles

There are a few types of refrigerants used in vehicles. The most common type today is the R-134A. In the past R-12 was the go to refrigerant for vehicles. R-12 was phased out from production in compliance with the Montreal Protocol in 1995. (Montreal Protocol is an international treaty designed to protect the O-Zone layer by phasing out production of chemicals that are harmful to the O-Zone.)

Vehicle manufacturers begin switching to R-134A between 1992 and 1994. If your vehicle was made after this date (Which was twenty years ago, so I would hope so!) then your vehicle is using R-134A refrigerant. Since R-134A is an HFC you can purchase and use it without having to be licensed with the Environmental Protection Agency. R-134A can be bought in 12 ounce cans or in thirty pound jugs.

If you are in need of R-12 Refrigerant you are going to end up paying an arm and a leg to get a hold of some. Since R-12 was phased out almost twenty years ago the price have gone up exponentially. I’ve seen some thirty pound jugs sell for over a thousand dollars. Also, in order to purchase and handle R-12 Refrigerant you need to be certified by the Environmental Protection Agency. You will not be able to buy this without providing your certification number to a seller.

Home Units

There are two possible types of refrigerants that are used in your home air conditioning unit. The most common refrigerant is R-22 Refrigerant and other is R-410A. Most units made prior to 2010 will be taking R-22 Refrigerant and ALL units made in 2010 or newer are required to take R-410A refrigerant. So, it is just a matter finding out when your machine was manufactured.

R-22 has been the standard HVAC refrigerant for many years but in recent years has begun to be phased out due to the ‘Montreal Protocol.’ (Montreal Protocol is an international treaty designed to protect the O-Zone layer by phasing out production of chemicals that are harmful to the O-Zone.) The short version is that R-22 falls into the chemical group of Hydrocholoroflurocarbons, or HCFCs. HCFCs contain the chemical Chlorine which negatively affects the O-Zone layer.

In compliance with the Montreal Protocol the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency mandated that no new R-22 machines can be manufactured after 2009. Any new HVAC unit built in 2010 or greater will now take the R-410A refrigerant. If you have a unit that takes R-22 Refrigerant you are still able to buy some on the market today, but you will need to be certified with the EPA before your can purchase or handle R-22. If you are not certified you will need to have an HVAC company service your unit.  Lastly, in 2020 the production R-22 will be banned in the United States. You will still be able to purchase it but you will see the price sky rocket over the next few years. If you do find that you need R-22 in the future it may make more sense to just purchase a new R-410A unit instead.

R-410A is a Hydroflurocarbon, or HFCs, and has no negative affects on the O-Zone layer. It is the future of Refrigerant for home and commercial air conditioning units. Although HFCs are an improvement from the damaging R-22 they are not perfect. They may not damage the O-Zone but they are greenhouse gases and have a higher Global Warming contribution then it’s predecessor R-22.

R-410A is not widely spread today as most units prior to 2010 were using R-22 Refrigerant. However, as the years go on R-410A is going to be the dominant Refrigerant in the marketplace. Since R-410A is an HFC refrigerant you do NOT need to be certified to purchase or handle it. This gives all you do-it-yourselfers the ability to purchase Refrigerant online and not have to worry about breaking any regulations.

If you are interested in purchasing Refrigerant please visit our Product Page by clicking here!

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

I’ve been on the wholesale side of the Refrigerant industry for over seven years now and I’ve learned when to buy and how to buy.

When to Buy?

First thing is first, if you’re looking to buy refrigerant by the pallet you have to know when to buy. If you are in a position where a pallet or two will last you for most of the year I would suggest purchasing in the dead of winter. Refrigerant is a commodity and prices sky rocket in the middle of summer but when we’re in the winter months prices tank and a lot of vendors are trying to blow out all of their old product before the next season starts up. Now, this strategy only works if you have the capital to buy up a few pallets in the slow season and sit on them for the year. Otherwise, you’ll run out in the peak of the season and have to pay an outrageous price to get your next pallet.

How to Buy?

How many jugs of Refrigerant are on a pallet? When I’ve dealt with R-134A and R-410A cylinders they all came forty jugs to a pallet. So, if you’re buying at $60.00 a jug you’re looking at spending $2,400.00 per one pallet. Now, if you are considering purchasing more than one pallet you have room to negotiate more with your vendor. If you’re buying 4-5 pallets you can most definitely get another few dollars per cylinder out of your vendor.

Now, if you mean serious business and are looking to purchase a trailer-load of product you can get your price down to dirt cheap levels. A trailer-load or container load is twenty pallets of Refrigerant. So, again, if you’re looking at the $60.00 price point you’ll have a total of $48,000 for 800 jugs of Refrigerant. When you are purchasing at this level you have the ability to not only negotiate with your existing vendors but to also import Refrigerant from another country such as China.

I have not imported Chinese Refrigerant before, but I know that you have to be VERY careful. There are many instances of buyers being scammed by false Chinese companies. You pay your part and the product never comes and that company you paid has mysteriously vanished.

However, if you do have a successful import from China you will see your acquisition price drop significantly. Last year when I was receiving quotes on pallets of R-410A I had quotes between $58.00 and $68.00 from various vendors. Out of curiosity I contacted some Chinese companies to see what the price per jug would be on a container. I was quoted $42.00 per cylinder. $42.00.That is a $16.00 savings per jug, and if you times that by 800 jugs on a container you are looking at $12,800 in savings by buying from China. Keep in mind that you will have to pay for the freight to get it to your location in the United States and that will be approximately $1,500-$2,500, but even with that taken out you are still looking at $10,000 in savings by importing. If you decide to import just BE CAREFUL.

Who to buy From?

There are tons of companies out there where you can purchase refrigerant from. The trick is finding the right company and getting the best price. When looking to purchase Refrigerant it is best to receive at-least three quotes from various vendors.  This gives you a diverse range of prices and notifies you if you are being ripped off.

There are many ‘vendors’ who do what I did last year and drop-shop the Refrigerant. I never actually touched the product. I just bought it from my vendor, marked it up, and told them where to ship it. The key here is to identify the wholesalers from the drop-shippers.

A list of vendors can be found in this alternate blog entry I did earlier this year by clicking here.

Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions please contact me.

Alec Johnson

Looking to purchase Refrigerant? Visit our Product page by clicking here!

 

DuPont Refrigerant

Hello all, I thought I would do a brief history of DuPont, the company that invented and patented the name ‘Refrigerant.’ This will be a learning experience for me as well as I do not know too much about the company. Most of the information found in this blog is either from their Wikipedia page or their about us on their webpage.

DuPont was founded in 1802 in Wilmington, Delaware by Eleuthere Irenee Du Pont. (Try saying that name out loud!.) Originally, DuPont began as a manufacturer of gun powder as Du Pont noticed that America’s industry was lagging behind Europe’s.

The company expanded quickly and by the mid 1800’s they became the single largest supplier of gun powder to the American military. DuPont provided over half of the gun powder used by the Union Army during the civil war. Even before Refrigerant was invented they were having a significant impact on the history of the United States and the world.

In 1902 DuPont, the current president, died. The surviving partners sold the company to three great-grandsons of the original founder. During this time the company began acquiring smaller chemical companies across the United States. With all of these acquisitions the government grew concerned that DuPont was gaining a monopoly on the explosives industry. Under the Sherman AntiTrust Act the government split DuPont into three separate companies thus ending their monopoly on the explosives market.

In 1910 DuPont established two of the first industrial laboratories in the United States. There they begin to work on cellulose chemistry, lacquers, and other non-explosive products. DuPont central research was established at the DuPont Experimental Station across the creek where the original DuPont gun powder mills were located.

In 1914 Pierre S. DuPont invested in the new company called General Motors. The following year he was invited to sit on GM’s board of directors and would eventually be appointed the company’s chairman. In 1920 Pierre was elected president of General Motors. (I find this amazing, I had no idea that DuPont was responsible for GM!) In 1957 DuPont was forced to divest it’s interests in GM due to anti-trusts laws being violated. (The government didn’t want another monopoly on it’s hands.

In 1920 DuPont continued it’s focus on materials science. Soon after they invented synthetic rubber, nylon, and Teflon. Last but not least, they also invented one of the world’s first insecticide called phenothiazine.

In World War 2 DuPont was one of the top manufacturers for the government. With their Nylon invention they produced raw materials for parachutes, powder bags, and tires. They also played a large role in the Manhattan Project. DuPont designed, built, and operated the plant that produced the Plutonium that was necessary for the nuclear bombs used at the end of World War 2.

In the 1950s and 60s DuPont created numerous materials such as Mylar, Dacron, Orlon, and Lyrca. All of these were necessary and helpful in the Apollo missions to the moon. DuPont has also been a key developer in our military’s body armor, and is responsible for all of the bullet proof vests that our military and police personnel wear today.

Now, getting to the actual Refrigerant inventions of DuPont. (Here I thought Refrigerant was their only invention…) The very first chlorofluorocarbons, or Refrigerant, was invented in the 1890’s by a Belgian chemist named Frederic Swarts.

In the late 1920s a research team was formed at General Motors (Owned by DuPont at this time) to find a replacement  for the dangerous refrigerants that were in use at this time. In 1928 they improved the synthesis of the CFCs and successfully demonstrated their abilities.

In the 1930s General Motors & DuPont formed Kinetic Chemicals to produce Refrigerant. Their product was dichlorodifluromethane and is now referred to as R-12 Refrigerant.  The number after the R is the refrigerant class number.

Most uses of CFCs have been banned in the United States and other parts of the world due to their depleted effects on the O-Zone layer. The most common type of Refrigerant today is the hydroflurocarbons or HFCs. HFCs include the most popular types of Refrigerant today R-134A and R-410A.

So, to sum it up DuPont has invented EVERYTHING in the past one-hundred years. They with help from General Motors invented, improved, and patented Refrigerant and today are one of the best manufacturers of Refrigerant. They are also the ONLY 100% United States manufacter of Refrigerant.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

Looking to purchase Refrigerant? Visit our Product page by clicking here!

608 & 609 EPA Certifications

In order to be qualified to handle refrigerants you need to pass a test by the Environmental Protection Agency on either 608 or 609 certification.

There are different types of certifications to consider as well:

  • 608 Type I Certification – Can only work on Small Appliance (5lbs or less of refrigerant)
  • 608 Type II Certification – Can only work on Medium, High and Very-High Pressure Appliances.
  • 608 Type III Certification – Can only work on Low-Pressure Appliances.
  • 608 Core Certification – This is needed in order to achieve any type of certification rather it be section 1, 2, or 3.
  • Universal Certification – Someone who possesses Type I, Type II and Type III Certifications as well as the Core Certification.
  • 609 Certification – This is needed to work on automobile applications.

Refrigerants are a hazardous gas and storage of refrigerant should not be taken lightly. No matter if you have R-134A, R-410A, R-22, or any other kind of refrigerant you need to take the proper steps and precautions. Below are a few key points to remember when storing your Refrigerant:

  • Ensure that all your cylinders be stored up right and are without risk of tipping over.
  • Refrigerant should be stored into a well ventilated area and temperatures should NOT exceed over 125 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperate becomes too hot pressure can build inside the container which could cause the container to rupture. This could cause the release valve to fail which could result in an explosion of the product.
  • Ensure all Refrigerant containers/cylinders have pressure release devices to avoid combustion and or explosions.
  • Ensure there are no combustible or flammable materials nearby the containers.
  • Perform regular visual inspections of your cylinders to ensure that everything is in good order.
  • Limit the number of people who have access to your Refrigerant, as the more people who have access the higher your chance of an incident. Also, please keep out of reach of children.

Refrigerant can be dangerous, or it can be very safe. It is up to you to take the per-cautions when storing your product. Well, that about covers storage requirements for Refrigerants.

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Thank you for reading,

Alec Johnson

 

Thought everyone should know about this, I didn’t write this article but it is in regards to new tariffs on R-134A refrigerant. Click here for full article. This will have a huge effect on the price of R-134A. I was buying at $68.00 earlier this year and now the best price we can get is low $100s.

FACT SHEET

Commerce Initiates Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Investigations of Imports of 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane from the People’s Republic of China

  • On December 3, 2013, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) announced the initiation of antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of 1,1,1,2- tetrafluoroethane from the People’s Republic of China (China).
  • The AD and CVD laws provide U.S. businesses and workers with a transparent and internationally approved mechanism to seek relief from the market-distorting effects caused by injurious dumping and unfair subsidization of imports into the United States, establishing an opportunity to compete on a level playing field.
  • For the purpose of AD investigations, dumping occurs when a foreign company sells a product in the United States at less than its fair value. For the purpose of CVD investigations, countervailable subsidies are financial assistance from foreign governments that benefit the production of goods from foreign companies and are limited to specific enterprises or industries, or are contingent either upon export performance or upon the use of domestic goods over imported goods.
  • The petitioner for these investigations is Mexichem Fluor, Inc. (LA).
  • The merchandise subject to these investigations is 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane, R-134a, or its chemical equivalent, regardless of form, type, or purity level. The chemical formula for 1,1,1,2- tetrafluoroethane is CF3-CH2F, and the Chemical Abstracts Service (“CAS”) registry number is CAS 811-97-2.1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane is sold under a number of trade names including Klea 134a and Zephex 134a (Mexichem Fluor); Genetron 134a (Honeywell); Suva 134a, Dymel 134a, and Dymel P134a (DuPont); Solkane 134a (Solvay); and Forane 134a (Arkema). Generically, 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane has been sold as Fluorocarbon 134a, R-134a, HFC-134a, HF A-134a, Refrigerant 134a, and UN3159.Merchandise covered by the scope of these investigations is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) at subheading 2903.39.2020. Although the HTSUS subheading and CAS registry number are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope is dispositive..
  • In 2012, imports of 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane from China were valued at an estimated $53.2 million.

NEXT STEPS

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• The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is scheduled to make its preliminary injury determinations on or before December 13, 2013.

• If the ITC determines that there is a reasonable indication that imports of 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane from China materially injures, or threatens material injury to, the domestic industry, the investigations will continue and Commerce will be scheduled to make its preliminary CVD determination in February 2014 and its preliminary AD determination in April 2014, unless the statutory deadlines are extended. If the ITC’s preliminary determinations are negative, the investigations will be terminated.