R-404A Is on the Way Out

I was reading an article earlier this week that detailed how ThermoKing, a global transport refrigerant manufacturer, was looking for an alternative to the HFC R-404A. The reasoning is the same as for the other HFCs 410A and 134a. It been known for a while that the HFCs have a very high global warming potential and many of the first world countries have either already begun phasing them out or will be doing so in the very near future.

ThermoKing saw the tide coming and decided to be a step ahead of the game. They partnered with DuPont to form an alternative refrigerant to the 404A. The replacement that they came up with was R-452A or also known as Opteon XP44. This new refrigerant has half the global warming potential of the R-404A. This is in now way THE refrigerant for transport refrigeration  as science is always improving but it will soon become the standard over the next few years.

R-404A and now R-452A are mainly used in transport refrigeration such as refrigerated trucks, supermarket freezers/refrigerators, and ice machines. It is a very specific type of Refrigerant as it experiences more wear and tear than your standard automotive or home unit and has to deal with a wide variety of exterior temperatures.   Originally R-502 was the refrigerant used but it was phased out years ago due to the chlorine that it contained. In 2015 ThermoKing will offer a new line of trailers and trucks that use the R-452A. They are also offering to replacement units for any customers who want to convert to the new R-452A as well.

Thermo King Offers New Choices to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions Related to Transport Refrigeration 

Beginning in January 2015, Thermo King, a manufacturer of transport temperature control solutions for a variety of mobile applications and a brand of Ingersoll Rand, will offer a new line of trailer and self-powered truck units that are energy efficient and reliable and use a next generation refrigerant that has about half the global warming potential (GWP) of refrigerant currently used. At the same time, for those transport customers who want to transition their existing units, Thermo King will offer replacement service through its dealer network. In 2016, Thermo King will then offer the same benefits with vehicle powered truck products.

“Our intent is to offer operators a choice of how and when to lower their GHG footprint without compromising the efficiency, reliability and overall product performance they expect from Thermo King,” said Ray Pittard, President of Thermo King North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa. “We made a significant investment in research and development, testing and the appropriate ATP approvals in order to bring product and service alternatives to market.”

In anticipation of the European Union’s 2014 F-Gas Regulation, Thermo King, in close partnership with refrigerant manufacturer, DuPont, selected R-452A, also known as DuPont™ Opteon® XP44, for this alternative line of transport refrigeration products.

“R-452A when used in our products is the safest, most environmentally responsible, and technically and commercially viable solution for transport refrigeration applications. Plus, it has about half the GWP of refrigerants currently used today,” said Pittard

“The new line of Thermo King products offers the same high level of performance as today’s portfolio including the same cooling capacity, pull-down and fuel efficiency,” said Dwight Gibson, vice president, Thermo King Europe, Middle East and Africa. “In addition, retrofitting current products with the next generation of refrigerant is a compatible solution which means that operators can increase their return on investment of units they already own with – the least amount of rework, lower fuel consumption and emissions, and retaining the residual value of the equipment.”