R-12

History & Past

Sometimes it is worth to slow down and look in the rear view mirror and see where we have been to find out where we are going. The same analogy can be used when it comes to R-12 refrigerant. R-12 was the the ‘mother’ of all modern day refrigerants that we see and use everyday in today’s world. Without it, the world would look very different. In this article we’re going to take a brief look at where R-12 came from, how it came to be, and why it is no longer used in the world today.

In the early 1900’s the world was looking for a solution for refrigeration and air conditioning. There had been numerous experiments and trials on differing refrigerants ranging from Ammonia, Carbon Dioxide, Propane, Sulfur Dioxide, and Methyl Chloride. Each one of these refrigerants were able to provide cooling and refrigeration but they all had potential downsides. It could have been safety concerns through toxicity or flammability, high pressure, or an inflated price point. There needed to be a more viable refrigerant introduced into the marketplace.

It was in the 1930’s that a partnership was formed between two companies: General Motors and DuPont. This partnership organized by Charles Kettering of General Motors was geared towards solving this problem. Over the new few years Thomas Midgley Jr, along with a few other team members, pushed forward with the invention of ChloroFluroCarbons (CFCs) and HydroChloroFluroCarbons (HCFCs). Out of these inventions two primary refrigerants came: R-12 and R-22. The introduction of R-12 showed the world that a refrigerant was possible that was safe, economical, and easily adapted to various applications.

In just a few decades R-12 and R-22 were found in nearly every home and business across the world. The explosive growth of refrigerant and air conditioning continued to propel forwards for decades and decades. All of this came to a head in the 1980’s when a team of scientists based out of California realized that the Chlorine found in these ever popular refrigerants were causing damage to the Ozone layer. What would happen is a machine would either develop a leak, or the refrigerant would be vented, or the machine would be scrapped entirely and refrigerant would leak out. This leaked refrigerant would work it’s way up into the atmosphere and stagnate in the Stratosphere. There the Chlorine found in R-12 would degrade and harm the Ozone layer. All of this got so bad over the decades of CFC and HCFC use that a thinning of the Ozone layer began to form over the Arctic. The scientists noticing this sounded the alarm and the world’s governments took action by creating the Montreal Protocol.

The Montreal Protocol is a treaty that was signed in the late 1980’s by more then one-hundred countries. It’s goal was to rid the world of using Ozone depleting substances like CFC and HCFC refrigerants. This treaty was enacted in countries all over the world. The first target was CFC refrigerants such as R-12. In 1992 R-12 was phased out of the automotive market in the United States and was replaced with the newer HFC refrigerant known as R-134a. R-134a had the benefit of not containing Chlorine so with its usage there would be no danger to the Ozone layer. The next refrigerant to go was the CFC refrigerant known as R-502 in the mid 1990’s. As time went by there were other CFC and HCFC refrigerants phased out but the big change didn’t happen until 2010.

In today’s world R-12 is a very rare occurrence. Most machines and systems that were using it have since been retired. Like I mentioned in a previous section, the only use cases that I know of in the year 2019 are those folks who are restoring classic automobiles. Even in these cases though I believe most people are going the retrofit route and changing their systems over to R-134a. The cost of R-12 is just too expensive and we all know that a fully restored classic car is never entirely original. There are always aftermarket parts that find their way in.

Conclusion

For more information on R-12 consider visiting our R-12 Refrigerant Fact Sheet by clicking here.

Thanks for reading and I hope this information was helpful,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Owner

facts

As most of you know we here at RefrigerantHQ are taking the time to put together what’s known as our fact and information sheets on each specific refrigerant that is out there. So far we have touched on quite a few HFC and even HFO refrigerants. But are good friends from days past, CFCs, have been neglected. I would be amiss if we forgot one of the most influential refrigerants out there, R-12. There may be some debate to this statement, but I believe that R-12 was and is the mother of all refrigerants. It was the foundation refrigerant and gave us the building blocks to other refrigerants that we see used every day around us.

But, what is R-12? What is the history behind this influential refrigerant? What is the significance of the Freon brand name? In this article we will answer these questions and more. Like with our previous fact sheets we will start this out with a table that goes over all of the upfront facts about R-12 Freon refrigerant. Let’s dive in and take a look!

The Facts

Name:R-12
Name - Scientific:Dichlorodifluoromethane
Name (2):CFC-12
Name (3):Freon-12
Name (4):Genetron 12
Name (5):Fluorocarbon 12
Name (6):Arcton-12
Classification:CFC Refrigerant
Chemistry:CCl2F2
Status:Phased Out Across The World Due to Montreal Protocol
Why Phased Out?Due To R-12 Damaging Ozone Layer
Future:Is Already Phased Out
Application:Very Wide Range of Applications - Can't Cover Them All!
Application (2):Refrigerators, Freezers, Ice Makers, Water Coolers
Application (3):Mobile Refrigeration Including Automotive & Refrigerated Transport
Application (4): Large Centrifugal Chillers, Open Drive AC, & Process
Cooling
Application (5):Misc High, Medium, or Low Temp Refrigerant Systems
Replacement For:Previous Hydrocarbons and Natural Refrigerants
Replaced By:Various Refrigerants, But Mainly R-22 and R-134a
Ozone Depletion Potential:1.0
Global Warming Potential:10,900
Toxicity Levels:A (No Toxicity Identified.)
Flammability Levels:Class 1 -No Flame Propagation.
Flash PointN/A - Not Flammable
Lubricant Required:Mineral Oil, also known as Alkyl Benzene.
Boiling Point:-29.8° Celsius or -21.64° Fahrenheit or 243.3° Kelvin
Critical Temperature:111.97° Celsius or 233.55° Fahrenheit or 385.12° Kelvin
Critical Pressure (Absolute):4,136 (KPA)
Atmospheric Lifetime (Years)100
Molecular Mass120.90 g·mol−1
Manufacturers:Various Including: Honeywell, Chemours, Arkema, Mexichem, Chinese, etc.
Manufacturing Facilities:All Shut Down Due to Phase Out (Maybe in China Still!)
Form:Gas
Color:Colorless Liquid & Vapor
Odor:Ether Like At Very High Concentrations
EPA Certification Required:Yes, Section 608 Certification Required To Use
Require Certification to Purchase?Yes, Section 608 Certification Required To Purchase
Cylinder Color:White
Cylinder Design:Thirty Pound Cylinder
Cylinder Design (2):
Price Point:VERY HIGH - $600 Upwards to $1,000 Per Cylinder
Future Price Prediction:Price Has Been Stable Due To Phase Out
Where to Buy Can or Cylinder?EBay.com Is Your Best Bet - Click Here To View Available Product
Bulk Purchasing:CLICK FOR A QUOTE!

Thoughts on R-12

I mentioned at the beginning of this article that R-12 is the ‘mother’ of all refrigerants. This is because R-12 was the very first mainstream refrigerant that saw usage and development around the world. Before the arrival of R-12 there was a mish-mash of natural refrigerants being used with hit and miss results. Either the refrigerant being used was toxic like R-717 (Ammonia), the refrigerant operated at too high of a pressure like R-744 (Carbon Dioxide), the refrigerant had a high flammability rating like R-290 (Propane), or the refrigerant was just too expensive for widespread usage. The invention of R-12 provided an answer to the price question as well as the safety question. Because of this, it’s usage exploded. I won’t get into all of the details here, but will save the more in-depth discussion about R-12’s history in our next section.

For now folks, let’s take a look at some of the most notable facts about R-12:

  • First and foremost, you should know that R-12 has been completely phased out in the United States and across the world. This refrigerant was phased out due to it’s Ozone Depletion Potential or ODP. The short version of what happened here is that when R-12 was vented or released into the atmosphere it would not break down as it made it’s way up to the stratosphere. Instead, the Chlorine in the chemical composition would stay intact and eventually cause damage to what’s known as the Ozone layer. This layer acts as a shield from ultraviolet rays from the sun. If this layer was gone or severely weakened then the radiation would begin to come through and cases of skin cancer and other diseases would begin to surface much more frequently. That’s the tamest of the scenarios of a damaged Ozone. R-12 along with other CFC and HCFC refrigerants were banned to prevent any further damage to the Ozone and to allow the Ozone layer to heal.
  • I mentioned this earlier but R-12 was the first refrigerant that was actually safe to use. It can be traced back to the 1930’s and back then there just wasn’t a ‘good’ refrigerant to use. Sure, there were some refrigerant and air conditioning applications that could be found, but they were rare and they had a high risk of failure. In some cases this risk of failure was also a risk to your safety. R-12 came around and provided consumers and businesses with a safe and cheaper alternative refrigerant.
  • R-12 has a relatively low boiling point at only -29.8° Celsius or -21.64° Fahrenheit. If you compare this to some of the other refrigerants out there such as R-22 (-40.7° C), R-744 (-78.0° C), or R-410A (-48.5° C). You can begin to see the significant difference here between R-12’s boiling point and other refrigerants. This low boiling point was also a key factor in the varying applications that R-12 was used for. Due to the wide range of applications, the low boiling point, the low price, and the safety features R-12 exploded in growth across the globe.
  • The end of R-12’s reign began in the 1980’s and went into the early 1990’s. I mentioned the Ozone layer problem above. Well, all of this started in the early 1980’s and came to it’s conclusion in the early 1990’s when the last step of phasing out R-12 began. This last step was in automotive applications. If you were to have bought a car in 1991 or 1992 you would have most likely had R-12 refrigerant. However, if you were to purchase a vehicle in 1994 or 1995 then your vehicle would have been using the new HFC R-134a refrigerant.
  • Today, in 2019 R-12 is very difficult to find. If you do find it the chances are it is a rusted out cylinder that may have been damaged. Any R-12 cylinders left in circulation today are products that someone squirreled away twenty or thirty years ago. Now, if the refrigerant was stored properly in a climate controlled warehouse without exposure to moisture then it most likely still has virgin pure R-12 refrigerant in it. However, if it has been exposed or damaged then the quality may be compromised. Most of the time these cylinders can be found on EBay.com, but make sure that you are section 608 certified with the EPA before you purchase. You will have to provide your certification number.
  • Along with the increased rarity of R-12 you will also notice that price has gone through the roof. A thirty pound virgin cylinder in good condition may be closer to one-thousand dollars. Some of the damaged cylinders we mentioned above may be around five-hundred to six-hundred dollars. Be sure to pay attention when purchasing some of these as in most cases the cylinder has been opened and some of it has already been used. So, you may end up only getting twenty or twenty-five pounds out of your thirty pound cylinder.

    1981 Ford-F150
    1981 Ford-F150
  • The good news is that today very little people actually need R-12 Freon. Most of the applications have been retired and scrapped. The only exception that I know of in today’s world (2019) is automotive restorers. My father as an example restores classic cars as a hobby. Most of the models he works on are from 1950’s and air conditioning wasn’t as prevalent then. But, let’s pretend you’re working on my dream restoration car, a 1981 F-150. In this case you would have to make a decision on rather to use the original air conditioning system and get your hands on a few cans of R-12. Or, you could install or retrofit over to an R-134a system. Besides these exceptions, I don’t see another need for R-12 being used in the world today.
  • The last point that I want to make is that in recent years (2018-2019) we have had reports of R-11 and other CFC refrigerants being found again in the atmosphere. This is odd as all of these were phased out twenty years ago. How are they being found again? In one specific instance the R-11 traces were able to be traced to a province in China. A company in China was actively producing R-11 foam and refrigerants for use throughout the country and for exports. The Chinese Government denied any affiliation with this company and have since gone after the company.

R-12 Refrigerant History

In the early 1900’s the world was looking for a solution for refrigeration and air conditioning. There had been numerous experiments and trials on differing refrigerants ranging from Ammonia, Carbon Dioxide, Propane, Sulfur Dioxide, and Methyl Chloride. Each one of these refrigerants were able to provide cooling and refrigeration but they all had potential downsides. It could have been safety concerns through toxicity or flammability, high pressure, or an inflated price point. There needed to be a more viable refrigerant introduced into the marketplace.

It was in the 1930’s that a partnership was formed between two companies: General Motors and DuPont. This partnership organized by Charles Kettering of General Motors was geared towards solving this problem. Over the new few years Thomas Midgley Jr, along with a few other team members, pushed forward with the invention of ChloroFluroCarbons (CFCs) and HydroChloroFluroCarbons (HCFCs). Out of these inventions two primary refrigerants came: R-12 and R-22. The introduction of R-12 showed the world that a refrigerant was possible that was safe, economical, and easily adapted to various applications.

In just a few decades R-12 and R-22 were found in nearly every home and business across the world. The explosive growth of refrigerant and air conditioning continued to propel forwards for decades and decades. All of this came to a head in the 1980’s when a team of scientists based out of California realized that the Chlorine found in these ever popular refrigerants were causing damage to the Ozone layer. What would happen is a machine would either develop a leak, or the refrigerant would be vented, or the machine would be scrapped entirely and refrigerant would leak out. This leaked refrigerant would work it’s way up into the atmosphere and stagnate in the Stratosphere. There the Chlorine found in R-12 would degrade and harm the Ozone layer. All of this got so bad over the decades of CFC and HCFC use that a thinning of the Ozone layer began to form over the Arctic. The scientists noticing this sounded the alarm and the world’s governments took action by creating the Montreal Protocol.

The Montreal Protocol is a treaty that was signed in the late 1980’s by more then one-hundred countries. It’s goal was to rid the world of using Ozone depleting substances like CFC and HCFC refrigerants. This treaty was enacted in countries all over the world. The first target was CFC refrigerants such as R-12. In 1992 R-12 was phased out of the automotive market in the United States and was replaced with the newer HFC refrigerant known as R-134a. R-134a had the benefit of not containing Chlorine so with its usage there would be no danger to the Ozone layer. The next refrigerant to go was the CFC refrigerant known as R-502 in the mid 1990’s. As time went by there were other CFC and HCFC refrigerants phased out but the big change didn’t happen until 2010.

In today’s world R-12 is a very rare occurrence. Most machines and systems that were using it have since been retired. Like I mentioned in a previous section, the only use cases that I know of in the year 2019 are those folks who are restoring classic automobiles. Even in these cases though I believe most people are going the retrofit route and changing their systems over to R-134a. The cost of R-12 is just too expensive and we all know that a fully restored classic car is never entirely original. There are always aftermarket parts that find their way in.

Conclusion

While R-12 Freon refrigerant is a thing of the past we should always remember where we came from. In today’s world HFC refrigerants are being phased out just like their CFC and HCFC cousins. The refrigerant industry is constantly evolving and changing. In another twenty years the world may be using something completely different then we are today. The thing to keep in mind though is that we approach 2030 we should take the time and honor the R-12 invention from a one-hundred years ago that got us to this point.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Sources

 

Question

R-12 refrigerant is one of the founding fathers of the refrigeration and air conditioning world. While there were many other refrigerants that came before the invention of R-12 there were none quite up to par and none that had all of what R-12 had to offer. But, before we get into why the refrigerant was banned let’s first take a look at some of it’s history and where it came from.

Prior to the 1930’s there were various types of refrigerants being used across the country and the world. These could range from Ammonia, Carbon Dioxide, and various other Hydrocarbons such as Propane and Isobutane. While these refrigerants did work and did provide users with a colder room or storage area they also came with various problems.

These problems could range from all over. In some cases the refrigerant was toxic if breathed in large quantities like Ammonia. In others the refrigerant was too flammable for safe use like Propane and Isobutane. While Carbon Dioxide was not toxic or flammable it’s downside was that it required an immense amount of pressure for it to complete the refrigeration cycle. Each of these refrigerants were used as a mish mash across different industries. There was not one industry leader.

All of that changed in the early 1930’s when the DuPont corporation formed a partnership with General Motors. It was during this partnership that a series of new refrigerants were invented. These new refrigerants fell under the classifications of CFCs and HCFCs. One of these newly invented refrigerants was R-12 Freon.

R-12 was one of the first refrigerants that checked all of the boxes. It was efficient. It was safe. It was non-flammable. It didn’t require immense operating pressure. All of these factors caused the amount of use of R-12 and other CFC/HCFCs to explode over the decades.

By the time 1980 hit R-12 and other CFC/HCFC refrigerants were found all over the globe. R-12 was found in nearly every car that had air conditioning. It was at this same time that a team of scientists began to notice that the Ozone layer was beginning to weaken and that there was a hole forming. The Ozone layer is a layer in the Earth’s Stratosphere that acts as a shield from ultraviolet radiation. Without it we would all be exposed to much more intense radiation that could result in increases of skin cancers and other ailments.

Alarmed at their findings the scientists alerted their governments about the problem. This eventually led to a global meeting of hundreds of countries in Montreal, Quebec. During this meeting a treaty was signed by all countries. This treaty became known as the Montreal Protocol. The treaty aimed at phasing down and phasing out various types of chemicals and agents that were contributing to the damage of the Ozone layer.

One of the first targets of global phase down was none other then R-12 refrigerant. At that time R-12 was used widely in automobiles. There was a set model year where there would be a hard stop across the country. When that date came no new vehicles would be using R-12 and would instead be transitioned over to the HFC refrigerant R-134a. (R-134a does not harm the Ozone layer.)

It was almost like ripping off a band aid. Rip it off and get it over with. That’s exactly what we did by transitioning over to the R-134a HFC refrigerant. All of the older vehicles that were using R-12 would eventually breakdown and retire. It was the beginning of the end of R-12. Within a decade or two the last remaining R-12 cars would be off the road. Sure, there will still be those collectors out there who drive vintage R-12 systems but the amount is negligible.

 Conclusion

In conclusion folks R-12 Freon was banned due to the damage that it caused to the Ozone layer. The Chlorine found in CFC refrigerants like R-12 would not break down in the atmosphere when vented or leaked. The Chlorine would then erode the Ozone bit by bit. By having R-12 no longer in use we have begun to see the Ozone heal. Hopefully in another generator all of the damage from the 20th century will be undone.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

How Much Does It Cost?

The term Freon is used all over the country to describe the refrigerant that is used in their home, commercial, or vehicle air conditioner. Even though it is used by man the term Freon is actually antiquated and is very rarely used within the HVAC industry. Chances are your air conditioner that you are using right now doesn’t contain Freon.

In fact, the word Freon is actually a brand name from the DuPont, now Chemours, refrigerant company. Yes, that’s right. Freon is just like Coca-Cola or Pepsi. Freon is a brand of refrigerant. There are many brands of refrigerant out there today but the reason we associate Freon with everyone is that Freon was the first mainstream refrigerant that can be traced all the way back to the 1930’s. At that time DuPont and General Motors teamed up together to form R-12 and R-22 refrigerants. These new refrigerants were the first mass produced and widely used refrigerant and air conditioning technologies in the world. DuPont branded these new refrigerants under their trademarked brand name, ‘Freon.’ The Freon refrigerants exploded in popularity and just a few decades later they could be found in nearly every home and office across the country.

All of this changed in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s when a team of scientists discovered that these Freon refrigerants contained Chlorine and Chlorine was leaking into the atmosphere and damaging the Ozone layer. Realizing this, hundreds of countries signed what’s known as the Montreal Protocol. This protocol phased out CFC and HCFC refrigerants across the globe. Included in these phased out refrigerants were DuPont’s ever popular ‘Freon’ brand name.

So, What Kind of Refrigerant Do I Need?

Ok, so the old Freon refrigerants are nearly gone nowadays. Yes, there are still some R-22 units out there and some people still need them but R-22 machines were phased out in 2010 so that means at their youngest an R-22 unit is already nine years old. They are quickly approaching the end of their life. The term Freon will be going away with it. So, now the question is what kind of refrigerant do you need? Let’s take a look:

Automotive Application – Nowadays nearly every vehicle is using R-134a refrigerant for their vehicles. In recent years a new refrigerant known as HFO-1234yf is being used on newer models. If you car is a few years old you will need to check if it takes 1234yf or not. Otherwise you are fairly safe to assume that your car is taking R-134a.

Home or Commercial Air Conditioner – These ones can be a little tricky. Depending on when you got your unit you most likely either have an R-22 unit or a R-410A unit. As I said before R-22 was phased out in 2010 for new units. R-410A has been around since 2010 but it’s popularity didn’t really take off until the 2010 deadline hit for R-22.

Refrigerators and Freezers (Home and Commercial) – The go to refrigerant for these applications has been R-404A. There are some other alternatives out there such as CO2 (R-744), R-502, and some other new HFO refrigerants coming out soon.

Conclusion

I hope that this article was able to answer your questions on refrigerant pricing and to also open your eyes on the wide variety there is within the refrigerant industry. There are two things that I want you take from this post. The first is the relative price per pound of the refrigerant you need and the second is the understanding that your contractor needs to make money too. Sure, you might know his price but you should not haggle down to zero. You should negotiate to a fair price that allows profit but also prevents gouging.

Lastly, if you are unsure what type of refrigerant your system needs please check the label/sticker on the machine. Normally it will state the refrigerant that it takes. However, if you still can’t find it then you can either contact the manufacturer or you can call a HVAC professional out to take a look. This is never something that you want to guess at.

Thanks for reading and visiting my site,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Refrigerant the key to finding intelligent life?

I saw an article pop up on my newsfeed this morning from the Atlantic. (Link is here.) The premise of the article is the on-going search for intelligent life outside of our planet. Is there life out there, if so is it intelligent, or is it a basic primal type of life? It’s a question humanity has been asking for hundreds of years.

Since we can’t travel too well in space, yet, scientists have been brainstorming on how to detect life in other planets from afar. During the brainstorm session one astronomer, Lisa Kaltenegger, suggested that when looking for intelligent life on a planet we should look for excessive amounts of refrigerants (CFC/HCFC refrigerant.) in that planet’s atmosphere. If that planet’s atmosphere is as damaged as ours is from our constant use of refrigerants than it very well may be a telltale sign that there is intelligent life on the planet… and that they like their food and drinks chilled.

It’s a genius idea when you think about it. IF there is intelligent life out there it only makes sense that they would be using forms of refrigerant as well to keep their products cold. Yes, I know this isn’t necessarily about the refrigerant industry or trends but I had to write something on it after reading it. I’ve always been amazed at the possibilities of outer space and what better way to tie two hobbies together than the search for alien life?

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

Owner.

How do Refrigerants Impact Today's Environment?

How do Refrigerants Impact the Environment?

Before I can answer that question there is the need to point out that there are a variety of different classes of refrigerants that are on the market today throughout the world. I will be going over the top three classes at this point in time. One thing to note is that yes, refrigerants do cause damage to the O-Zone and they do contribute to global warming… but when you compare them to other global warming contributors you will be shocked at the minimal effect that refrigerants have on today’s environment.

For example, check out the below pie graph from the EPA’s website. Notice anything? I do. One percent. Fluorinated gases contribute just 1% to the greenhouse gas emissions throughout the world. (Keep in mind these are HFCs we are talking about.)

Refrigerant Greenhouse Gas Emissions (1% as F Gases)
Refrigerant Greenhouse Gas Emissions (1% as F Gases)

CFC or HCFCs

R-22 30 Pound Refrigerant Cylinder
R-22 30 Pound Refrigerant Cylinder

CFCs, or chloroflurocarbons, were the first refrigerants that saw mainstream use through the world. The first of it’s kind was R-12 that was invented in the early 20th century by General Motors & DuPont. It began widespread usage in the 1920s and was the primary refrigerant for all applications up until the 1950s. During the 50’s an alternative to R-12 called R-22 was introduced. R-22 was easier on the compressors and didn’t require as big of pipes to flow through. This made things easier and also resulted in less part failures.

The problem with R-12 and R-22 is the Chlorine. It was found that in the 1970s that the Earth’s O-Zone layer was depleting above the Arctic. The O-Zone layer is a layer in the Earth’s stratosphere which contains a high concentration of O-Zone. O-Zone is a naturally forming molecule that helps to absorb the sun’s ultraviolet rays. It was found that Chlorine was a leading contributor to the depleting and cause to the hole in the O-Zone layer. A depleted O-Zone would mean more intense ultraviolet rays from the sun resulting in a variety of problems including Global Warming.

In 1987 the Montreal Protocol was announced. The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty across many countries designed to help combat the damaged O-Zone layer. One of it’s initiatives was to phase out CFCs in first world countries, and eventually throughout the world. In 1994 the United States discontinued R-12 in automotive applications. R-12 was replaced with the HFC alternative R-134a. R-134a does not contain Chlorine so it provided a solution to the O-Zone problem. In 2010, in compliance with the Montreal Protocol, the United States announced discontinuation of R-22 in future applications. All new machines would be orientated towards the new HFC R-410A. It’s the same story on this one as well, the 410A does not contain Chlorine.

Did the protocol work? In short, yes. The Montreal Protocol was a huge success throughout the world. It’s often regarded as the most successful international treaty to date. It is expected that the O-Zone layer will return to 1980 levels by the year 2045. But, something else was on the horizon…

HFCs

HFC Refrigerant being added to Montreal Protocol
HFCs being added into the Montreal Protocol? It may soon be a reality.

In response to the Montreal Protocol companies needed to find an alternative to the widely used CFCs R-12 and R-22. The answer was HFCs. HFCs include R-134a, R-410A, and R-404A. (There are others, but these are the most popular at this time.) The first mainstream use of HFCs began in 1994 when we switched from R-12 over to R-134a in automotive applications. Shortly after we switched from R-502 over to R-404A. Lastly, in 2010 we switched from R-22 over to the HFC R-410A, also known as Puron.

So, we can celebrate now! No more CFCs and Chlorine damaging the O-Zone, right? WRONG. Come to find out HFC refrigerants have a very high GWP, or Global Warming Potential. GWP basically means how much heat a certain product can trap into the atmosphere. For example, Carbon Dioxide has a GWP of 1 and the R-134a HFC refrigerant has a GWP of 1,430. Quite the difference here. A table of refrigerants and their global warming potential can be found by clicking this link to the EPA website. We have a completely new problem to deal with now. Keeping that in mind, I am going to refer to the pie chart that I posted earlier that illustrates that yes, refrigerants are putting greenhouse gases into the environment, but the significance is so small compared to the other offenders. 1%!!!!

Now instead of the O-Zone layer everybody is concerned about HFCs and the greenhouse gases that they are releasing. The European Union has already banned usage of R-134a in all new vehicles and the United States is not too far behind. There were a lot of ‘voluntary’ measures announced in 2014 by the Obama Administration. You can read about those by clicking here. On top of all that the three North American countries have submitted an amendment to the Montreal Protocol that would eventually phase-out all HFCs throughout the world just as the CFCs were done earlier. Nothing has been decided and added to the protocol at this time but it is only a matter of time before it is added. The main opposition countries have begun to make concessions and I feel that over the next year we will see HFCs added to the protocol. R-134a is on the way out and R-404A is being voluntarily phased out as well. R-410A will be coming soon.

HFO Refrigerants

1234YF Refrigerant & Refrigerant
HoneyWell’s Solstice 1234YF Private Brand

Third time’s a charm, right? Well, let’s hope so. To replace the HFCs that are slowly being phased out DuPont and HoneyWell have come out with a new class of refrigerants called HFOs. The first in it’s class is the 1234YF HFO. It is primary designed to replace R-134a. 134a has a GWP of 1,430 and the new 1234YF has a GWP of 4. This is obviously an improvement. HFO does not damage the O-Zone layer and it has a very low Global Warming Potential. The question is… what is going to go wrong with this one? There HAS to be another factor here that someone has not thought of. Don’t get me wrong I am all for having more efficient and cleaner refrigerant but at times it almost seems like we are running in circles chasing our tails. Either way DuPont and HoneyWell along with other companies are diving head into production and distribution of the new HFOs. Many automotive manufacturers have begun the switch as well.

Conclusion

Well, we went from damaged O-Zone layers to Global Warming Potential and Greenhouse Gases. Now we have the HFO alternatives coming to market with very little environmental detriments, or so we believe. Only the future can tell if HFOs are here to stay or if we will phase these out as well.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

Owner.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Buy Refrigerant in Bulk

How many of you are buying your refrigerant 410a or R-22 cylinders one, two, or three at a time? Well, I have news for you. STOP! You’re throwing money down the drain!

1) Competitive Pricing Available

Best Refrigerant pricing and cost per cylinder!

Well, this is an obvious one, but you will end up saving quite a bit per cylinder when you buy a pallet of forty cylinders at a time. Depending on where you’ve been buying and who you have been buying from you can save upwards of $5, $10, or even $20 a cylinder. So, doing the math you could potentially save $800.00 by purchasing in pallet quantities rather than individual jugs.

The savings can increase even more if you buy in multiple pallet quantities. Depending on your size, some locations can handle five pallets, some ten, and some even a full trailer load of refrigerant. The savings on trailer load orders can be quite significant to your company. You can also mix and match a trailer load with varying types of refrigerant. You could do 10 pallets of R-22 and 10 pallets of R-410a that way you have your bases covered.

2) Pricing Security and Increased Margins

Secure Refrigerant Pricing

I mentioned pricing above but another factor to look at is the security in pricing you get when you purchase by the pallet. Refrigerant/Refrigerant is a commodity and the pricing can change in an instant. I’ve seen it jump $30-$40 a cylinder in a week.

You never know when the next big increase is going to hit. Buying in bulk ensures you and your company that your pricing is secure and stable even if the market sky rockets. Not only that, but it also opens up the window of making increased margin when the market goes up. Or, if you are in a bidding situation where every dollar counts you get an edge against the competition with your lower priced refrigerant.

If you are considering buying for pricing security I would highly recommend to buy in the winter months of December or January. The demand is at it’s lowest here in the States at this point in time and you typically will not find a cheaper price throughout the year. In the hottest summer months I have seen prices double R-134a.

3) Peace of Mind

Peace of mind on pricing

Quite a few contractors do not keep a stock pile of refrigerant on hand, most buy when they need. But, what happens if you have a run on your refrigerant and you realize that your inventory is now depleted? Now you have to go to your supplier and pay an arm and a leg just to get a jug and get you out of a bind.

When buying in bulk you eliminate this potential problem by having a surplus of supply on hand and ready to go. Refrigerant is not going to go ‘bad,’ so if you have some left over from a previous big buy no harm is done. In fact year over year refrigerant pricing goes up, so if you do have old inventory you most likely have a lower cost than everyone else in the market.

4) No Freight Charges for Pallet Deliveries

Free freight on Refrigerant Orders

Did I mention that all pallet orders have freight pre-paid? No more paying shipping costs for smaller orders. We’ll send a truck to your door and drop the product off with not cost to you. If you place an order let us know if you have a loading dock or if you need the truck to have a lift gate.

5) Year End Taxes and Budgets

Refrigerant Tax

Most of you who run businesses are familiar with year end and want to pay as little taxes as possible. What better way to minimize your tax payments than to spend some of your profits on future inventory ?

By buying a pallet or two of product right before year end you shrink your tax bill while also having product available for the next year’s business. I know we’re already in January of 2015 but it is definitely something to keep in mind when year end sneaks up this year.

Conclusion

There are a lot of pros to buying refrigerant in bulk to you and your company as listed above and the only con is putting up with the initial investment to bring the product in.

If you are interested in purchasing by the pallet we want your business! Please visit our bulk purchasing page to contact us.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

Owner.

Refrigerant Changes, Opportunity or Headache?

Headache?

I’ll be the first to tell you that all of these new regulations and phaseouts in refrigeration have caused major headaches and pains across the air conditioning industry. It seems that about every five to ten years there is a new regulation coming out on Refrigerant either in the United States or abroad. Just a couple years ago R-134a, automotive refrigerant, was completely banned in the European Union and it won’t be long until it’s banned in the United States and R-22 production is being cut by 90% in 2015. (It was cut 75% in 2010)

These phaseouts and regulations all begin back in 1987 when the Montreal Protocol was agreed upon by numerous nations around the world. The protocol was created to prevent any further damage to the O-Zone layer and to eventually heal the O-Zone layer. Chlorine, which is found in CFC refrigerants such as R-12 and R-22, was one of the leading causes to the damaged O-Zone. The approach taken was to phaseout the biggest offenders first and to then move down the list to the smaller chemicals.

The first phase out R-12 Refrigerant that took place in 1994. Before the phase out all cars took R-12 as it’s primary refrigerant, after the phase out automobile manufacturers switched over to the HFC alternative R-134a. This switch caused a lot of pain for technicians and mechanics as they had learn how to handle this new refrigerant as well as how to retrofit older systems that were still taking R-12.

We went through the same process again in 2010 when R-22 was banned in new units and was replaced with R-410A our Puron. R-22/410A is used primarily for home and commercial building units. 410A was a whole new story compared to 134a as it was a higher pressure chemical than it’s predecessor and had to be handled differently as well as have specially designed tools just for it’s application.

Opportunity?

Yes, these changes are pain in the ass to all people involved. But, there is also a opportunity here for you or your company. Think about it, you have all of these old units out there that are taking CFC refrigerants. When that customer has a problem with their system this gives you the window to sell either retrofitting his system to accept the new refrigerant, or depending on his current unit, purchasing a whole new system that is compliant with the new regulations. Extra business, anyone?

The more knowledgeable you become on these changes the more opportunities will arise for you or you business. Study the regulations well and look for windows that your company can prosper in. A little unrelated but since the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) passed there have been many companies that have founded with their main purpose to help consumers navigate this new government law/regulation. Entire companies founded based on government regulation . Given, healthcare is on consumer’s minds a lot more than their air conditioners are but the point still stands. Just think about how many R-22 units are out there today. How much do you make on each retrofit? Your happy, the government is happy, and the environment is happy. Even if you don’t agree with the new regulations you really only have two choices either ignore them and let them come up later and bite you, or embrace them and hopefully capture more business because of them.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

Owner.

HFC Refrigerant being added to Montreal Protocol

Sneaking HFC Refrigerants into the Montreal Protocol?

The Montreal Protocol

25 years Montreal Protocol
It’s been 28 years since the Montreal Protocol has been enacted.

The Montreal Protocol was a treaty signed way back in 1989 by numerous countries in an attempt to slow down and eventually stop the hole that was forming in the O-Zone layer. It’s main objective was to eliminate the amount of Chlorine and Bromine being released into the atmosphere. This was done by coordinating world wide phase out of chemicals and gases that contained these two compounds. When speaking on Refrigerant or refrigerants the first of it’s kind affected was the automotive market when the ‘original’ Refrigerant R-12 was banned in 1994 and replaced with an HFC R-134a. Next up was the residential/commercial buildings with R-22 Refrigerant which was banned in 2010 and had it’s production and imports cut in half in 2015. (In case you weren’t aware R-22 prices are going up this year!) R-22 was replaced with R-410A or Puron. All new machines from 2010 or later will be taking the 410A Refrigerant. There were other refrigerants banned over the years but those two were the major players. The only other one that comes to mind is R-502 refrigerant for your heavier duty applications such as refrigerated transport. 502 was replaced with the HFC R-404A.

The Montreal Protocol treaty has been revised many times over the years to accommodate new technologies and advancements but it’s main objective has always been to reduce harmful chemicals affect on the O-Zone layer. HFC refrigerants do not cause harm to the O-Zone layer in the slightest. What they do have is a VERY high global warming potential by releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. HFCs are the most potent GreenHouse gas in the world today and they are having an effect on the climate… just not an O-Zone affect.

President Obama’s Push to Add HFC Refrigerants

Obama pushing for phase-out of HFC Refrigerants
Obama pushing for phase-out of HFC Refrigerants

Over the years of President Obama’s presidency one of his main goals was to work on Climate Change or Global Warming. I apologize in advance if partisanship sneaks into this article but I will do my best to remove any biased and just report what is actually happening. With that in mind Obama’s focal point on climate change is tackling HFCs that are currently in use here in the United States and throughout the rest of the world. There are a couple ways that he is going about this. Firstly, United States, Canada, and Mexico have all proposed an amendment to get HFCs added to the Montreal Protocol. Second, Obama has enacted executive actions to combat usage of HFCs. Thirdly, Obama has put pressure on the supply chain of HFCs and companies have made concessions to reduce HFC output/production.

Here is an announcement from the White Houses’ official website detailing the steps that Obama is taking through executive action and through voluntary measures by for profit companies in the United States:

Obama HFC Phase Out Fact Sheet

There are a few things to take away from this:

  • Obama is taking executive actions on Climate Change without congress. I don’t claim to be a legal expert so the only comment I will make is that I prefer congress to be involved rather it be a Democratic or Republican president in office. I’ve never been comfortable with executive actions. The below listing are some of his Executive Actions:
    • All Federal agencies, buildings, and institutions have been instructed to look for alternatives to HFCs when looking at their refrigeration needs. If you are bidding any government contracts you should definitely push for the HFC alternatives.
    • Federally owned buildings will be piloting new refrigeration technologies. This will allow companies test their innovative ideas.
    • The EPA will expand its listing of environmentally friendly HFC alternatives and publish them in their Significant New Alternatives Policy. (SNAP)
    • The Federal Government will be funding research and development on new HVAC technology and innovations from various companies and scientists.
  • The government has put pressure on the entire HFC supply chain from the manufacturers here in the United States to the distributors and even to the HVAC contractors.
    • The industry coalition of companies have agreed to reduce HFC usage and consumption by eighty percent by the year 2050.
  • There are billions being spent today and over the next ten to twenty years on research and development on a low global warming potential alternative to HFCs. The hope is to have a newer, better, refrigerant for future use. (But, these new refrigerants will probably be phased out in thirty years anyways!)
  • Coca-Cola has committed that all of it’s new purchases for refrigerant machines and equipment will be HFC free. Coca-Cola is a huge consumer of refrigerant and in 2014 alone they bought 200,000 HFC free units.
  • Carrier announced that it’s goal is to have all vehicles made in 2020 to be HFC free. (Goodbye R-404A!)
  • DuPont announced that it would reduce GreenHouse gas content of it’s refrigerants by ninety million tons in the United States and two-hundred and forty-five tons worldwide by the year 2025.
  • HoneyWell has committed to reduce it’s high global warming potential HFCs by fifty percent by the year 2020. It is doing this buy spending nearly a billion dollars in research and development into lower global warming potential HFCs.
  • ThermoKing, the transport refrigerant company, announced that it is switching all of it’s new vehicles over to R-404A alternative known as R-452A. R-452A has half the global warming potential as the 404A. ThermoKing is also offering retrofitting for existing vehicles. It is important to to note that at this time it is only available in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Once the new refrigerant has EPA approval it will be in the United States.

As you can see there is quite a bit of action already being taken on the phasing out HFC refrigerants in the United States. But, we are not the only country on board. The European Union has banned the use of the most popular HFC, R-134a, in all automotive production. They have switched over to an alternative refrigerant known as 1234YF. (All except for Germany.) You can read about that switch by clicking here. On top of that the three North American countries submitted an amendment to the Montreal Protocol in May of 2014. The amendment pushed for the official phaseout of all HFCs globally. It was reviewed in November but there was some resistance between major countries that caused the amendment to be put on hold.

India, China, and the Gulf States

India & China HFC Phase Out
India & China have agreed to push for phaseout of HFC Refrigerants

Even though North America and Europe are on board with phasing out HFCs the rest of the world was not. By the rest of the world I mean India, China, and the Middle East. Hell, if you add the populations of India and China that’s probably half the world right there! Now there are a few reasons for their opposition to the HFC amendment to the Montreal Protocol:

  • First things first… The Montreal Protocol was made to prevent damage to the O-Zone layer. HFCs do not cause damage to the O-Zone layer. SO, we’re adding an amendment to the O-Zone treaty that has nothing to do with the O-Zone. India and the Middle East states are calling us on our BS and asking for this amendment to be added to the United Nation’s climate change plan rather than the Montreal Protocol.
  • Another thing to keep in mind is that for India, China, and the Gulf States in the middle east is that they are all developing countries. Many of their leaders are concerned about the economic impact and the cost of switching all of their citizens over from HFCs to an alternative refrigerant. It was a headache switching everyone from R-22 over to R-410A here in the States. I can’t imagine what it would be like trying to do that in a developing nation like India.
  • And lastly, another big opposing point is that the United States holds almost all of the patents on these new alternative refrigerants. Works out great for us… but I can understand the other countries hesitation. Price gouging anyone?

With all of that being said it looks like we may have had a breakthrough in the end of 2014. Obama made some deep concessions with China and we were finally able to get them so sign a climate change agreement that included the eventual phase out of HFCs. Here is hoping they push for the amendment as well in the next Climate Summit. It also looks like India is slowly starting to drop it’s opposition. In the last global climate meeting India was surprisingly quiet and did not voice opposition to the amendment. At this point the only countries that are really left opposing are the middle east states and there are only a few left and there days are numbered.

Conclusion

So, in conclusion the world governments, including the United States, are pushing for an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phaseout and eventually ban high global warming potential HFC refrigerants. Even though the Montreal Protocol was specifically designed to combat the damage to the O-Zone and the HFC’s do not harm the O-Zone layer… they’re just going to sneak that in there anyways. There has been resistance, but it is waning and it is just a matter of time before all the HFCs that we know today are completely phased out just like the CFCs of the past.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

And as always, if you’re looking to purchase any refrigerant please visit our bulk purchasing page!

 

 

North America Refrigerant Phase Out

The Amendment

In May of 2014 Mexico, Canada, and North America submitted an amendment request on the Montreal Protocol.  The amendment suggested the phase down and eventual phase out of HFC refrigerants for all nations that had signed the 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.

This latest amendment was formally submitted in May of 2014 and it was to be reviewed in November of 2014 by all parties of the Montreal Protocol.  In the November meetings countries were not able to discuss formally mainly due to the resistance of the Arabian states and Pakistan.

So, as of now nothing has been decided. But, the momentum is in the phase out corner. Think about this, all of North America is on board and most of the European Union is as well. It’s not a matter of if the amendment will be added but when. Some countries will be dragged kicking and screaming but it will eventually be phased out.

Irony

I can’t help but laugh after hearing about the latest phase out of R-134a in Europe and now the pushing of all HFCs in North America. (Including R-410A, R-404A, and R-134a.) The whole reason the world is using HFCs today is because of the enactment of the Montreal Protocol in the first place!

Back in 1989 HCFCs were the bad guys. (R-12/R-22) Both of these chemicals contained chlorine. Chlorine causes damage to the O-Zone layer. So, if you were working an air conditioning unit that used HFCs and a leak occurred you would be causing damage to the O-Zone layer. There were so much HCFCs being released into the atmosphere that a hole had started to form in the O-Zone. This concerned a lot of scientists and leaders across the world and thus the Montreal Protocol was born.

The problem that we run into phasing out products like this is that they have to be replaced with something. Humanity isn’t going to go without air conditioning again… not that we know it exists! I know I certainly wouldn’t. So, when HCFCs were phased out we replaced them all with non chlorine containing HFCs.

Come to find out HFCs damaged the environment as well, just not the same as HCFCs. It was found that all of these new HFCs such as R-134a, R-404A, and R-410A do not harm the O-Zone layer but they do have an extremely high Global Warming Potential. For example, R-134a is 1430 times more damaging to the climate than carbon dioxide. Kind of came back to bite us…

Summary

The European Union has already taken the first steps through it’s countries. All cars made in 2013 or later in the European Union cannot contain an R-134a system or refrigerant. It was also announced in America that major manufacturers and consumers of HFCs would voluntarily cut their usage/production over the next few years. HFC’s days are numbered in this world, the question is what will take their place?

Links on this content:

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

Owner.

 

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

R-12 Refrigerant cylinders for sale, best price per pound on the web!
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Bulk Purchasing

Interested in bulk purchasing? Looking to purchase one pallet, two, three, or even a trailerload of Refrigerant? Visit our bulk purchasing page for more details!

R-12 Product Details

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.

R-12  MSDS 

Click here to go to our MSDS listing.

Disclaimer

https://refrigeranthq.com/ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and The E-Bay Partner Program, affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com or E-Bay.com. We do not directly sell any Refrigerant, but rather provide information, knowledge, and explanations to the consumer.

Please note that Environmental Protection Agency law requires certain individuals to be licensed before purchasing some refrigerants. You will be required to provide your certificate number or declare the item will be resold to an EPA certified technician on certain types of Refrigerant. (R-410A & R-134A are excluded from this.)