April 25, 2024

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Cold-chain chemistry: Chemours advances sustainable TRU refrigerant technology

4 min read

Refrigerated fleets trying to find to minimize their carbon footprint now can do so whether or not they are working Thermo King or Carrier Transicold transport refrigeration units (TRUs). Carrier Transicold started offering R-452A, a upcoming-era refrigerant with a low world-wide warming possible (GWP), in December 2020 as a North American option for new and existing reefer devices, and Thermo King reported in January the refrigerant will be regular in all of its truck and trailer units by mid-year.

But who is behind this new refrigerant technological innovation? Very well, two corporations in fact—Chemours and Honeywell, who have worked jointly to create and produce hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) refrigerants like R-452A, the very low-GWP choice to R-404A for transport refrigeration equipment, and R-1234yf, which is a broadly recognized global alternative for R134A in automotive air conditioning systems.

Honeywell, established in 1906, is well-known in chilly chain circles. Chemours, established in 2015, is considerably less recognizable—but its chilly-chain heritage operates similarly as deep. That is simply because the firm was spun off from DuPont—which was founded back again in 1802—with sustainability as its major priority the same 12 months in which DuPont merged with Dow Chemical to type DuPont de Nemours.

“We’re the company that successfully invented the refrigeration group, and we continue to be a primary innovator in the room across quite a few purposes,” claimed Alisha Bellezza, president of Chemours’ Thermal & Specialised Methods organization, who lately spoke to Refrigerated Transporter about Chemours’ legacy, the evolution of far more sustainable refrigerants, and how it’s aiding makers and fleets go eco-friendly.

Evolving know-how

The company’s initiatives day to the 1930s, when DuPont and General Motors combined their sizeable means to develop Freon as a fluorocarbon refrigerant that was safer and far more successful than that era’s much more poisonous options. And Bellezza suggests they’ve been functioning difficult to boost and ideal the technological innovation ever since. “The technological know-how has advanced as the earth learns additional about the impacts of the chemistry, and how to get far better chemistry that is just as powerful, as significantly as cooling alternatives, but with a much decreased affect on the ecosystem,” she said.

“So we went from CFC chemistry, or chlorofluorocarbons, to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and now, with our Opteon portfolio—a spin off from Freon—we’re focused on HFO know-how. It characteristics no ozone depletion and a lessen worldwide warming probable, and however even now achieves the performance and the success that is expected in several distinctive kinds of AC devices and insulated units.”

Opteon XP44 is the trade identify for Chemours’ R-452A refrigerant (Honeywell phone calls it Solstice 452A), which was designed in the company’s Newark, Del., Chemours Discovery Hub, exactly where a team of much more than 400 researchers are committed to developing and tests innovative refrigeration technological know-how.

According to Bellezza, equipping cars with Opteon refrigerants retained 100 million tons of CO2 from reaching the ambiance amongst 2015 and 2020—the equivalent of having 20 million cars and trucks off the road each yr. “We all want to be great stewards of our environment, so we can go outside and love a eco-friendly earth that is not overheated,” she said. “And that is heading to consider the contributions of just about every individual and corporation that can make an influence.

“That’s why there is increasing visibility and scrutiny on every single company’s CO2 footprint.”

Cold-chain worry

In addition to California Air Sources Board (CARB) criteria, which call for TRUs operating in California to use refrigerants with a GWP of 2200 or less—the GWP of R452A is 2140—starting in 2023, Bellezza pointed to the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, which directs the U.S. Environmental Safety Agency’s (EPA’s) HFC phasedown, and the European Union’s F-gas restrictions as transition motivators.

“We’re delighted with the way the present-day administration is supporting local weather coverage, and obtaining the U.S. again in alignment on the worldwide phase with the Kigali phasedown program for HFCs (below the 2016 Montreal Protocol),” Bellezza explained. “That will have a remarkable impact across the space—and in this sector in specific.

“We need to be equipped to keep food stuff fresh new, we require our vaccines to continue to be chilly, and we need to have other prescribed drugs to be in temperature-managed environments. But the amount of money of that visitors has elevated around the decades. So it is about becoming mindful of how each and every minimal action in the chain can end up ensuing in an accumulation.

“But if we use the right remedies, we can reduce that environmental footprint, and present this sector can actually make an influence.”

Chemours mainly companions with equipment companies to promote its small GWP alternatives, but Bellezza stated the enterprise also will get the job done specifically with fleet managers who want to make improvements to the sustainability of existing refrigeration machines. “We’re often open to having discussions about how we can enable them retrofit,” she mentioned, introducing that XP44 is a great substitute possibility for specific older TRU types.

The chemical organization isn’t done advancing its engineering either. Bellezza mentioned Chemours’ Thermal & Specialised Methods device stays dedicated to developing ever far more sustainable refrigerant alternatives likely ahead. “We’re not resting on XP44,” she reported. “We have the up coming-gen Opteon XL line, which we feel is the next possibility to get GWP even lower—while nonetheless trying to keep the performance attributes expected.

“Beyond that, we carry on to search for innovation and alternatives that further greatly enhance the technologies.”

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