R-407C is one of the most preferred R-22 replacements since both refrigerants have similar characteristics when placed under certain conditions. However, R-22, even though it’s a safe and popular HCFC refrigerant, has negative effects on the ozone layer since it contains chlorine. Many countries worldwide signed a treaty (Montreal Protocol) in 1987 to phase out all refrigerants that contained Chlorine by the year 2020, and that’s where R407C came into the market.
The R-407C refrigerant consists of three HFC (hydrofluorocarbons) components. They include R-32 (difluoromethane), R-125 (Pentafluoromethane), and R134A, also known as 1, 1, 1, 2- tetrafluoroethane. Additionally, the refrigerant is environmentally friendly since it has a Global Warming Potential of 1774 and a zero Ozone Depleting Potential.
What else do you need to know about the refrigerant?
It’s essential for every HVAC technician that they know how a refrigerant operates, whether you are recycling, reclaiming, or recovering it.
Therefore, in this article, we will take an in-depth look at the R407C refrigerant from who manufacturers it, its composition, the way it operates, uses of the refrigerant, pros and cons. Let’s jump right into it.
The Facts Table
|Name - Scientific:||Difluoromethane, Pentafluoroethane, 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane blend|
|Name (4):||Genetron 407C|
|Classification:||Hydroflourocarbon Refrigerant Blend|
|Status:||Active & Growing Market|
|Future:||May be Phased Out by January 1st 2024|
|System Type:||SubCritical (Cascade) & TransCritical|
|Application:||Residential and Commercial DX A/C systems|
|Application (2):||Medium Temperature Refrigeration Systems|
|Application (3):||Chiller Equipment|
|Application (4):||Industrial Refrigeration|
|Application (5):||Heat Pumps|
|Ozone Depletion Potential:||0|
|Global Warming Potential:||1774|
|Global Warming Risk:||Very Low|
|Toxicity Levels:||A (No Toxicity Identified.)|
|Flammability Levels:||Class 1 - No Flame Propagation|
|Lubricant Required:||Synthetic Oil - Polyol Ester Oil or POE|
|Boiling Point:|| -43° Celsius or -45.4° Fahrenheit.|
|Critical Temperature:|| 86.74° Celsius or 188.13° Fahrenheit.|
|Critical Pressure:||46.2 kpa|
|Temperature Glide:||9°F and 13°F|
|Molar Mass:||86.2 g·mol−1|
|Density (1):||1134 kg/m3 (liquid at saturation 25?C)|
|Density (2):||1325 kg/m3 (liquid at -25°C)|
|Melting Point:||−56.6 °C; −69.8 °F; 216.6 K|
|Vapor Pressure:||156.2 psia (°F)|
|Liquid Heat Capacity:||1.533 (kJ/(kg°K)) at 25°C|
|Vapor Heat Capacity:||1.107 (kJ/(kg°K)) at 1.013 bar|
|Manufacturers:||Various Including: Honeywell, Chemours, Arkema, Mexichem, Chinese, etc.|
|Manufacturing Facilities:||All Over Including: USA, Mexico, EU, China, and others.|
|Color:||Colorless Liquid and Vapor|
|Odor:||Faint ethereal odor|
|EPA Certification Required:||Yes, 608 certification required by January 1st, 2018.|
|Require Certification to Purchase?||Yes, 608 certification required by January 1st, 2018.|
|Cylinder Color:||Burnt Orange/Chocolate Brown|
|Purchasing:||Buy R-407C in Bulk|
Pressure Temperature Charts
Before repairing any AC equipment, whether home or commercial system, one thing is essential: Checking the pressure and temperature that the refrigerant works at. The primary reasons for doing this are simple. One, if you recharge the refrigerant at incorrect pressure and temperature, some of your system components may fail. Additionally, the system would end up overworking even in normal conditions, eventually becoming energy inefficient.
For experienced technicians, this is something they are used to doing after conducting a visual inspection of the unit. They understand that each refrigerant is different, and their saturation, subcool, and superheat properties are different.
If you’d like to know the pressure and temperature chart for R-407C, you can use this link to view the detailed chart.
So, how can you use this refrigerant? In this section, we’d like to cover some of the common ways people in the HVAC world use R-407C. But before we get into that, let me first give you some background information on how this refrigerant came into existence.
After signing the Montreal Protocol, governments around the world started the process of phasing out refrigerants that contained Chlorine. That included all Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerants.
One of the most popular HCFCs in the market was R22. The refrigerant was efficient, safe, and came at a low cost. It was common in home air conditioners, supermarket freezers, heat pumps, and most equipment that used refrigerants. The issue with this refrigerant, however, was that it had an ozone-depleting potential of 0.055, which made it dangerous for the environment. Governments agreed to phase it out by 2020.
Therefore, manufacturers started looking for suitable R-22 replacements. One of them is the refrigerant we are discussing today, R-407C.
When comparing both R-407C and R-22, they both have similar characteristics. In fact, other than not having Chlorine, systems using R-407C refrigerant are energy efficient than when using the latter. Hence, the reason why experts recommend retrofitting HVAC and refrigeration equipment that used R-22 initially with R-407C.
Some of the common systems that may have R-407C include:
- Heat pumps
- Commercial refrigerant units
- Residential and DX Commercial AC units
- Water Chillers
- Vending machines
- Medium temperature vending machines
- Outdoor A/C units
- Scroll compressors
- Rotary compressors
Why should you use R-407C?
Generally, the refrigerant carries so many benefits to the user. The first one is that it doesn’t harm the environment. R-407C consists of a mixture of HFC blends – in essence, 52% of R134A, 25% of R-125, and 23% of R-32. Hence, it has zero ozone depleting potential since it doesn’t contain chlorine in its components. On top of that, it has a lower global warming potential than R-410A. 407C has a GWP of 1774, while 410A is at 2088.
The refrigerant is also safe to use if you use the proper procedure when storing, transporting, or charging it into a refrigerant system. Although R-32 is flammable, especially in oxygen enriched environments and above atmospheric pressure, the presence of R-125 provides the right balance since it’s not flammable.
Additionally, in terms of toxicity, 407C doesn’t exhibit toxicity. However, it’s always advisable to avoid direct contact with the fluid. Ensure that you are wearing protective gear while handling it to prevent frostbite and inhaling the gas.
- It is useful in medium and low temperature refrigeration systems
- It has good thermodynamic properties
- Considered as the best replacement (retrofit) for-22 refrigerant
Although R-407C is a high performance refrigerant, it has its downsides too. One of them is its GWP. Sadly, we might not be able to use this refrigerant soon because governments around the world are trying to phase out Hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants by 2024. If released into the air, either via a leak or by accident, the fluorine in HFC refrigerants causes global warming.
The other downside of R-407C is that you can only use it as a retrofit, not as an R22 drop-in. Many experts (drop-ins and retrofits) use both terms interchangeably, whereas they are different. Most R22 retrofits are HFC blends that are not miscible with mineral oil. Hence, before adding the R-407C to your refrigerant, you’ll need to remove the existing mineral oil and replace it with Poly Olester Oil (POE) to prevent the evaporator from overworking when trying to cool any space. You may also need to modify your system before adding the new refrigerant.
That’s all we know about R-407C, folks. With the information above, you will be able to know how to handle this refrigerant. Ensure that you don’t mix it with any other refrigerant including R22. If you do so, you run the risk of adding impurities to it, damaging your system, and getting into trouble with the governing authorities.
Although HFCs are reliable, we might not see R407C in use in years to come due to its GWP. In fact, by 2024, manufacturers will not have the permission to produce once more.